Inspired by April’s Moral Focus virtue of the month, compassion, staff at Brooklyn Scholars Charter School came together to serve meals to their surrounding community and partnered with the Parent Action Committee to show their appreciation to essential workers during these trying times.
These efforts began with a simple message on Class Dojo inquiring which family members from the school community are essential workers who are continuing to serve their community throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The goal was simple: to provide a meal, or even a snack, as a thank you from Brooklyn Scholars to show appreciation.
After a bit of consideration, the staff decided to deliver 40 meals from Olive Garden to a New York mental health facility where several Brooklyn Scholars parents work. “Since our school is closed, we thought we could show our appreciation to our parents who have been working so hard,” said Nakia Yates, admissions representative at Brooklyn Scholars.
Yates has two students who attend the school and she decided to turn this into an opportunity to teach a real-world lesson, explaining what is going on in the world and how things will be different moving forward. She explained that this is now a part of history and asked her kids “what are we going to do to be part of history?” In response, her second-grade daughter answered, “help others in their time of need.”
“Our students learn Moral Focus virtues every year. Now is the time to put those virtues in action,” said Yates. “[My daughter’s] comment motivated me to want to be a part of something great. A part of history, so the students are motivating the parents.”
In addition to serving essential workers, Brooklyn Scholars has provided meals to individuals in their community who need support. Serving on average over 500 meals per day, many helping hands came together to fill this need. However, two outstanding staff members answered the call and stepped forward to help their community get through these difficult times.
Brooklyn Scholars’ food service employees, Tawanna Wilson and Phyllis Rodgers have been committed to serving meals to the community since the school closed several weeks ago. To show recognition of their hard work and devotion, Principal Thomas and Dean Jean-Louis visited them and dropped off tokens of appreciation, including cards and flowers. The cards offered words of encouragement, reading, “Some people may your day better, and some people make your life better.”
“They have been a consistent presence for families in the community,” said Roxanne Thomas, principal of Brooklyn Scholars. “Ms. Tawanna, as she is affectionately called, said one lady needed more meals and was afraid to ask, and because Ms. Tawanna has a discerning spirit, she was able to sense her need and offered her more food.”
Thomas shared that there are families that have become “regulars” to the food service pick-up site and along the way have forged friendships as they come to pick up their meals. “Many sites are too far away for some community members, especially seniors, so they have also expressed their gratitude to them,” said Thomas.
National Heritage Academies leaders could not be more proud of the actions taken by those working on the frontlines of this pandemic to help make their community a better and safer place.