“365 at 5280”
Hard to believe, I have been one year in the Mile High City (365 at 5280)! One year of witnessing the growth in Escuela and especially in the students. Just imagine: the kindergarteners who read the Psalm and petitions at Mass this week, one year ago saw those same letters as squiggly lines on a page!
It is difficult to overstate the power of this transition. Aristotle was so convinced of the supreme importance of words, he noted that it just might be the key essential trait that sets us apart from the rest of all Creation; he went so far as to call us the “animal with speech”; along with the power to love, this rational capability of language makes us humans, by nature – a social creature, able and purposed to live in loving community with one another. With this in mind, the perennial question in education circles, “Can Johnny read?”, becomes ever more poignant. Speech, literacy, narrative, ideas, reading, and writing are more than just the mundane activities of the schoolhouse routine – our little students are growing into their best selves, capable of profound thoughts, deep love, and heroic virtue. Step by step, word by word, we see them blossom, like one of those time-lapsed videos of a blossoming rose. I have literally witnessed a kindergartner realize for the very first time that those lines in the form of the letters “b-l-u-e” were the word for the color blue! They looked up at me with big eyes, full of awe and wonder, and turned back to read the word again. “Blue”, she read. In just one year, that same student will look down on a page with the letters, “a-z-u-l”. “Azul”, she will say aloud (blue in Spanish), and the bridge of learning and love will grow toward a whole other language, culture, and people. Compassionate leaders are formed one child at a time, one word at a time! What a difference a year makes at Escuela de Guadalupe!
With that, I will leave you with a song-prayer that one of our fourth graders wrote today. This student’s words speak to me in a way that I feel best describes this year. Just as a child, I have come “365 at 5280”, becoming more a part of the Escuela community day by day. I am humbled by the growth I see in our students, and I cannot wait to see what the new year has in store!
“Jesus love me, come back down, help us
See the path to the light
In the heaven. Jesus love me, see
My heart of stone make it red and real
Jesus love me and take care of the ones I really love.
Jesus love me and I’ll love you
And protect me till I grow old
- Escuela de Guadalupe Student, 4th Grade
Paul F. Dull