Anna’s Place remains a place for our children to thrive. Each day a member of the core team reaches out to many if not all of the children ages 6-16 to assure them that they are cared about, that there is still work to be done, that we are an inter-dependent family not just a place. Anna’s Place is like a church which defines itself more by the people there than it’s liturgy. Anna’s Place defines itself more by the heroic acts of the core staff and there charges the students than it does by curriculum.
Too often students do not get heard. We are listening. Too often what they want and what they feel are dismissed unless it is a crisis. Too often we plan what is “best” for them without asking THEM, what is best for them. Recently I hosted a competition to write a piece about being stuck at home and the whole Covid 19 thing. The thought was to solicit their voices about their experiences. One of our students Edana wrote the following and it has wisdom. Listen to the children:
Edana ________ Student COVID-19 Essay Contest 3-30-2020
Isolation is not an uncommon feeling nor a word that is new to me, as an introvert most of the time i prefer to be alone in my room doing homework or watching Netflix.
The choice to be alone is comforting but when that option is taken away, the feeling of comfort is taken and replaced with an unsettling,restless feeling.
COVID-19 has crawled from the Eastern continents, transferring easily from contact or bodily fluids. Corona affected many lives in merely weeks, if not physically, affected mentally; The east and the west were not ready for an epidemic. With an epidemic spreading, Officials had no option other than to shut down schools and businesses, essential stores such as groceries and convenience stores stayed open. When i got this news it was relieving and exciting, the idea of not going to school for the rest of the month, i rushed to the bus ready for my vacation. This idea soon faded when i saw how fast stores were going out of stock; i knew that china had shut down its exporting system and we would soon run out of goods. This idea added to the fear of my family getting infected, and within only a few days life has become depressing and restless. My teachers added to the stress as they made piles of online work without thinking of how burnt out their students must be. In an epidemic work is still made, due dates still exist and citizens must remain calm.
During these couple weeks I have kept myself busy by finishing assignments, anime, reading and eating. Sometimes i will go out in the backyard to help my mom tend the garden, but other than that I’m not allowed to leave the house. I text my friends everyday via Instagram, now only talking about how much we miss each other; it is so weird not being able to see them everyday. I have had many friends who have contacted me saying that they have Corona Virus and it has caused me to feel guilty, I took things as simple as going to school or seeing my friends for granted; they could be gone any day.
This summer I hope to make up for the time that i have taken for granted by spending my free time with friends and family. I have learned that the choice of isolation isn’t the best when it comes to ignoring the people who care.