So…Saturday, I strolled to my mailbox, sorted through the pile of bulk mailers and bills when one envelope caught my eye. It was addressed directly to me from my oldest son’s school. Hmm….I didn’t place this on the table like I did the other "junk." When I opened it, at first I was a bit perplexed. WHY would my son’s school send me a dollar? One single dollar bill accompanied by a personal letter signed by Jeremy, the Foundation president.
As I read the letter, which discussed the school’s 100 Campaign, I realized this dollar was mine, to do with as I chose. I could keep the dollar or I could mail it back (in the included self-addressed stamped envelope). I also had the option to include any amount large or small with the dollar. How much easier could it possibly get… mail back a dollar that was given to me. But on second thought… we all love matching programs right? I could send a dollar of my own, literally less than a soda, and I, along with other parents could double the amount sent to us. Or… for the cost of a coffee and breakfast sandwich, I could send five. How much is my child’s education worth to me? For sure more than five dollars!
When my kids were small, and that first sting of jealously hit as they began to love their babysitter, or their teacher, or they wanted to stay with grandparents just a bit longer, I was struck by an awesome reality: one that I have tried to keep in the front of my mind as they have grown and developed friendships and relationships outside of just me. That reality is a simple one, the more people that love and support my kids the better off they are. Life is not easy, the world can be cold and unkind, but the more people that my kids have in their corner, the more likely they will not only survive but thrive. But I digress… regardless of what I choose to do, or how much I choose to send back, what struck me most is the opportunity to be a part of a school where ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of parents are invested in the education of my child… of your child! It matters not how much I send or how much other parents send but what matters is that ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of parents at my son’s school care about him, about their own children, about the opportunities WE can create.
How fortunate are we as parents to have a school to send our kids where EVERYONE cares about their success, everyone is willing to give, perhaps a dollar, but everyone willing invest in my child. And, how fortunate we are to have teams at NHS and the Foundation that are willing take the risk to ask and to invest themselves in our kids. I hope you are all willing to invest in our kids, I am willing to invest in yours.
- Lisa Rice Branham NEXT High School Parent since 2014