For the holidays this year, I bought each member of our small staff team a 2021 wall calendar (purchased from a local business, of course!). While calendars may not always be a coveted gift, this year, they felt significant. There’s something special about wrapping up the challenges we faced this year and anticipating brighter days in the year to come.
As I reflect on 2020 and the work we accomplished at Impact on Education, I’ve found many reasons to be grateful.
This year, with incredible supporters behind us and in partnership with some of the most committed professionals I’ve ever known, we helped students in our community in ways we could never have imagined a year ago. While the public health and economic crises created unbelievable hardship and loss for our community, we are fortunate they also allowed us to jump into action and respond in ways that I hope will be lasting.
Specifically, how incredible is it that 2020 was the year we eliminated the digital divide among students in BVSD, by providing home internet to all who needed it? The year when we finally understood the role that social emotional well-being plays in academic achievement? Or the year we recognized quite how many students don’t have enough to eat without the nourishment they receive at school?
2020 is the year we responded more boldly, more completely and more rapidly to eliminate barriers faced by students in BVSD.
Many of our job descriptions changed this year while searching for innovative ways to engage students in learning. And while things were far from ideal for students, our community came together to support our public schools and stood in solidarity with our most impacted students.
I hope we all learned to identify and acknowledge our privilege this year. I certainly have plenty, but still had my struggles. As tough as some days are, as troubling as individual stories of struggle are for us to handle, it seems that as challenges grow, so does the generosity of this community. With new supporters joining us in record numbers, we were able to keep pace with the growing needs of our students and contribute in some incredibly meaningful ways.
Moving into 2021, I hope this spirit of helping our neighbors, this commitment to equity, and the belief in the power of public education, stays with us.
Since 1983, we’ve been BVSD’s support system, providing supplemental funding and resources to expand what’s possible and promote equity in public education. This year, we were challenged in ways we have never been challenged before. And the fact that we’ve been able to rise to meet those challenges gives me hope.
All of us here at Impact on Education appreciate the opportunity to do this work and all who help make it possible. We hope you feel confident in our ability to reach new heights in 2021 and share our anticipation of the brighter days ahead.