School’s In Session!

school's in session

Happy Monday, All!

Now, this isn’t just any old Monday … It is the first Monday of the school year 2013-2014! What do you make of that?! If you are a parent, and today is the first day for your youngster, you already know. In fact, I was on one social network where I saw a friend’s post that her daughter in high school was getting on the bus somewhere around 5:30am. That’s how they roll up in high school!! I think back fondly to the days when I taught at White Plains High School between 1979 and 1989 … I was always at my desk around 6:45am, getting ready for each new day and anticipating the arrival of the students. Slowly but surely, as the buses arrived, I could hear a low “roar” of bustling students entering the building, talking with classmates, greeting the waiting teacher aides and hall monitors, until …. “Good morning, Mr. Cook!”

There were numerous “Back To School”/”Book Bag and School Supply” programs and hand outs. The one I emceed for H.E.R.O. Saturday went very very well. The youngsters and their parents were generally well behaved though many of the younger kids were anxious and couldn’t wait to get their supplies as well as the book bags supplied by H.E.R.O. and author, C.J. Love. After I introduced her, C.J. spoke with the kids and their parents about what she experienced as a “survivor of child abuse”. Not only did she mention that her mother, who had had her out of wedlock, was unfit to raise her, but also left her abandoned on the “streets of Jamaica” at a very tender teen age. She survived it … not easily … but with determination to overcome those obstacles. C.J. Love now has a book called “Behind The Mask: Survivor of Child Abuse”, whose proceeds go to help “abused children”. She also has two or three grown children who did NOT suffer the same fate that she had faced in her formative years.

I also spoke, in addition to two other women educators here in Broward County, one a classroom teacher, and the other a district administrator who advised that the parents get to know their youngster’s teachers and school. In this “rush rush”, “who’s got the most money” world we live in, most parents do not have the time to get involved in things like the PTA (Parent-Teacher’s Associations) groups that were so common when and where I grew up in White Plains, NY. One of the speakers is also an instructor in Ms. Patricia Lesesne’s program, “Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders” out of Boyd H. Anderson High School in Fort Lauderdale. During my talk, I emphasized being hungry for knowledge of “new” things or unfamiliar things, like a foreign language or something in the computer science realm like programming. Most importantly, I encourage the youth to always keep in mind, “We Got This!” as well as my other slogan, “Stop The Violence”. Many of them understood our messages and seemed mentally geared up to meet the morning today. How about you and yours?

“Life is change . . . Growth is optional . . . Choose wisely . . .” – Karen Kaiser Clark

Have a great day and a wonderful week!


John I. Cook, Director

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