I just finished watching a video of Sammy Hagar at a school in St. Louis. I was one of those people that turned my back on Van Halen when he became the lead singer, but did hold on to his solo albums. He was there because he donated money to a program called Blessings in a Backpack. He donated money to send the kids home with backpacks full of food. He also announced that all of the profits from one of his restaurants will go to funding the program “forever.” Here is a bit about what they do:
Blessings in a Backpack is a results oriented program. This unique program is designed to feed children grades K-5 in Title 1 public schools who qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Meal Program and may not have any or enough food on the weekends. Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved health and increased attendance have all been attributed to the success of this program.
$80 feeds a child in the program for an entire school year. Following a donation, a school is chosen and a local grocer partners with the program to provide food for meals in the backpacks. Every Friday, students receive their backpacks with food that requires little to no preparation. They return with their backpacks on Monday ready to learn.
I did not think much of the video at first. I taught for ten years at a similar school. At the end however, when the video switched to him putting the food in the kids bags as they walked by him my brain felt a little queasy. Here I am in my school trying to put laptops into kids bags when he is putting food into theirs. Food. Just food. Makes me wonder if the integration of technology should be lower on my list of priorities. My kids can’t eat, talk to, or feel love from a laptop.