Teacher's Perspective — David Kimura
Education Liaison, David Kimura, was on hand when Pencils for Kids made a presentation to Regal Road Public School.
A note from David Kimura: I have been teaching for 15 years at one inner-city elementary public school which has an internationally diverse student body. Over the years, I have taught children from Grades JK-5 in a wide variety of roles. Teaching children has been a wonderful learning experience: kids love to share their joy and wonder, hopes and dreams, laughter and sorrow. Their honest perspective both sobers and frees the soul and reminds one to let kids be kids...
As an elementary teacher myself, I was quite intrigued to see first-hand the children's response to a presentation by Robin Mednick, about her organization Pencils For Kids. It became immediately apparent that the class of Grade 5 children was completely enthralled. They could empathize with children a continent away yet it also made them reflect upon and appreciate what we often take for granted here: publicly funded education on a vastly different scale and basic amenities such as clean water or electricity.
When Robin delved into the possibility of establishing pen pal relationships, young eyes lit up. Although there was a deep and genuine urge to simply give, they were as stoked by the concept of an exchange, of a relationship. That was when I could see the profundity of establishing a focussed "link" between our two worlds, transforming the abstract into the personal, reducing two worlds back into one. We were all hooked. Now where would we go from here? (The story is being written...)