By Lisa-Marie Haygood  

If asked to reflect on someone that taught you something in life, memories would vary from person to person. Learning to ride a bike, or bake a cake, or tie your shoes. Teachers come in many shapes and sizes, and life lessons come in a variety of containers as well. We have seen life lessons and history being shaped right in front of us. 

Roles for many of us have been altered quite suddenly, and we have seen first-hand many of the challenges that arise in classrooms across our nation. We have been forced to change the way we look at learning these past few weeks, as our schools shuttered their doors in an effort to protect public health. Parents have had to take on a new role by serving as learning facilitators while their students experience digital learning; all the while our teachers are changing the delivery model of their lesson plans and working on creative ways to reach students in their new virtual classrooms. 

It can feel like a scramble each day to juggle all the new puzzle pieces we have been given. The role of our schools has shifted dramatically through the years, and while teaching and learning is paramount, more and more classrooms have been called on to serve the social and emotional needs of our students as well. Sadly, for some of our students if school doesn't open to serve them breakfast and dinner, they will simply go hungry. Food insecurity is real and is touching the lives of many Cherokee County families.

While we have been struggling to adjust to this new norm, our school district has been working in overdrive to ensure that our Title I students, those that qualify for free and reduced lunch continue to be fed while traditional school doors are closed. Our community of non-profits and service agencies have been brought together to deliver groceries to those families, ensuring those among us that are most vulnerable are being cared for. This is what neighbors do, in times of crisis they are there weaving an invisible thread that holds our community together. Thank you, to our caregivers, and thank you to our amazing family of public schools. You rise for teaching and learning, and you stay to ensure the whole child is cared for.