October is National Diversity Awareness Month.
According to the Webster Dictionary, diversity is, “difference, unlikeness, variety, multiformity, a point of difference.”
Today most schools have a diverse student population, except perhaps some private schools. SarShine is no different. The students are a mix of Latino, African American, Anglo and even Native American. It is a wonderful experience to visit the campus and see all their faces and how they interact with each other.
They have one thing in common; they are all kids without stuff.
· Material stuff. Many of the StarShine students live below poverty level.
· Family stuff. Some of the StarShine students live with single parents, or live with aunts, uncles, grandparents or friends, who have a bed for them, and some live on the streets.
· Mentor stuff. Many of the StarShine students have no one to listen to them or to be role models, give advice or love.
The StarShine principal, teachers and volunteers do a great job filling that role. It is a safe place for all the children who come to the school. They learn to trust adults and each other, and even to contribute to others needier than they are.
Not all students fit in, but most do. I have had the privilege, as a volunteer for over 6 years, to see and work with diverse happy, loving young children. It is a special gift when I see trust growing in a high school student.
By Lois Jamieson
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