(Warning: slightly political post)
As I’ve mentioned before, my father was a lifelong educator in the public schools.
When he died, one small comfort was knowing that memorial funds donated in his name would help causes he cared about.
Since then, education has taken a beating from our current administration. The arts, especially, have suffered.
I was the lucky recipient of a wonderful public school system that provided ample opportunities for music education, but times have changed. Title 1 schools, or schools with a high percentage of children from low-income families, especially struggle in the current climate of test-driven education.
Kids need to learn reading and arithmetic, yes. But they also need a reason to live. They need hope for a better tomorrow, safety to develop as a whole person, and encouragement to shine.
What music education gave to me, music teachers in public schools give to the next generation. Through endless budget cuts and inhumane demands and schedules, they give children a chance for a better future.
Last month, a music teacher was killed as part of a robbery.
There are no words to describe what her family and school family must be experiencing.
(Full disclosure: I’m not connected to her or her family. I’m just someone who was touched by her story.)
Debbie Liles’ son has set up a GoFundMe page for memorials, and they will be used to keep her music programs going. I know that many of you search for causes to contribute to, and ways to make this world a better place.
I hope, if you are looking for a place to donate, that you’ll consider keeping Debbie’s legacy alive.
As for me, I can’t afford to give much. But I am putting a small check in the mail and saying a prayer.
In my dad’s memory, I want to honor Debbie Liles’ life work.
Would you consider doing the same?