Most of them have gone home to their families now, the scholars of our town’s ABC program. I know this as the person who organizes their enrichment and outreach activities.
Together with some stalwart helpers I set up all our adventures and didn’t we have a lot of them this past year, among them a trip to the zoo, a viewing of Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra, frequent car ride in to the city to work with schoolchildren at 826 Boston, one of the most amazing after-school writing programs in the country to name but a few.
ABC is pretty amazing itself but to go on for now with our list: We went go-carting one Saturday and did laser tag another. (I held the coats.) One bitterly cold weekend in January we went to an indoor water park called Coco Key, and treated ourselves to an overnight in the attached hotel, my husband David and I staying in a room two doors down from the eight students. (I smile at that memory: I must have cut up 10 pounds of fruit to leave in their suite in an attempt to at least partially counteract the harm done by the too many soft drinks and high-salt snacks I knew they would be consuming late at night as they watched TV and dropped one by one into sleep.)
All year they participated in athletics, swimming and wrestling, hoops and lacrosse, and now the three seniors are off to Northeastern, to SUNY Binghamton and to Phillips Exeter for a post-grad year before college.
Meantime, the underclassmen are hot on their heels in the achievement department with their SAT prep classes and the summer programs. (Our poor exhausted kids these days! when do they rest?)
I am part of what they need rest from no doubt, since I’m forever emailing, texting and Facebook-messaging them to set up these various activities we do together. Not that they didn’t reach out to me plenty of times too, especially when they needed one of those after-school rides to the Y.
So I guess I won’t be hearing the glassy ping! of their incoming texts for a while and I admit I will miss that. I started volunteering with this town’s ABC program back in ’86 when I served simultaneously as the Enrichment Chair, the English Tutor and a Host Mom. Then I was away from it for 15 years but I sure am back now, since 2008, and looking at these pictures below I don’t know as I’ll ever be able to leave again.
I wonder: Do kids ever know how much they mean to the adults who help nurture them?