The yellow mobile school bus that drove in every week into the cramped lanes of Rangpuri Pahadi slums locality was such a welcome sight for students who eagerly awaited to get on board and attend classes, share assignments, spend time on the computer and indulge in a host of creative activities. It made them forget their other life where drudgery, exploitation, petty crime and a purpose-less existence were bedfellows.
When I founded my school, the Giddens School in Seattle, I was sure of one thing, among many — that every teacher in the School would visit the home of each child who was enrolled in his/her classroom, BEFORE school started in the Fall. This stemmed from a deep conviction that each child is important, and needed to feel noticed, appreciated, and valued by the School. And to make this statement clear and strong, to both the child and the family, the School’s first connection would be — and still is — in the home.