We are celebrating what a gift SLLS has been for 20 years. I want to tell you a bit about the gifts the school has given my family.
First, the gift of learning. From my years in the classroom as a student and a teacher, I know how to live for the weekend. But in my house, a vacation or Saturday is met with a sigh accompanied with a “but I really had to tell my teacher…” A love of learning so deeply rooted that at 2:30 am Benicio once woke me to tell me all of the facts he learned about zebras. Gabriella proudly corrects us when we ask how school is because as she says, I don’t go to school, I go to Kindergarten. And when I utter the words “let’s go to school,” everyone runs to the door to load up – including the dog.
The second gift is the gift of friendship. The friendships developed over the past 4 years are ones that have helped shape my children. They have learned how to love, share, and encourage one another. And these friendships aren’t just the ones from the kids but the ones I’ve made myself. The ones I’ve made as a parent, as a fellow teacher, and as a volunteer. The ones who have helped me realize that I’m not alone in the struggles and joys of raising young children. The friendships that realize with a quick glance that it’s been one of those mornings. The friends that know my children, because they spend time with them even away from the school.
And lastly we have the gift of faith. My faith is stronger because of how deeply my children believe. God is a part of their life here. It’s in the spirit of the school and it’s felt the moment you walk through those doors. And that spirit leaves with us. It’s in the songs my kids sing, the way they love and treat others. If Benicio is sad or scared Gabriella tells him, “don’t worry God is always with you.” And his worries are immediately calmed.
So I want to thank those people who 20 years ago had a dream. Their dream has become a gift to the Zannini’s and so many other families – past, present, and future.