The preparation for this amazing thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail has been such a blessing to me. The physical preparation has been good for me – a great way to stay in shape and enjoy some refreshing exercise. The cognitive preparation has allowed me to research the trail itself, some of the outstanding sights to see along the way, and a bit of the history behind the granddaddy of all long trails. But the relational blessings have been very special – a young lady who holds a bake sale every week to support the hike, faithful readers of this blog who respond with enthusiasm, expert and record-holding thru-hikers that have filled my ears with vision, and students that are catching the mission behind my walk. I got an email this past Wednesday that brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. I share it because it captures my heart for the hike.
I have a story for you that I think you’ll enjoy. One of my students came to me on Friday, handed me a quarter and just said “Here, Miss K____!” She didn’t explain much and I thought maybe she was just excited about learning about the quarter (which we just introduced last week) so I kept it on my desk. She came in again this morning, this time with several more coins in her hand. All she said was, “Here, Miss K____!” I asked her what it was for, and she said that it was for me to keep. I told her that I didn’t need the money and I would rather her have it to use or save in her piggy bank. A few minutes later, as she’s working on her morning work, she said, “Miss K____! That money needs to go to Dr. Jean to help kids!” I was VERY confused at this point. Dr. Jean is a well-known author/teacher/conference speaker for kindergarten and we sing many of her songs in our classroom. The kids love her! But, I couldn’t understand the helping kids part. So I inquired further…”Why does Dr. Jean need your money to help kids?” I didn’t get very far, as she kept repeating herself. I’m wracking my brain trying to think of what she could possibly be saying….when it clicked. I said, “Do you mean, Dr. D?” She jumped out of her chair and yelled, “YES! That’s what I was telling you! You need to listen better, Miss K____!” J She got out of her chair and went to get the coins out of her backpack to make sure that they “got to Dr. D to help more kids come to our school.” A few other students had been listening in and one chimed in, “Yeah! If he gets more money, maybe another student will come to our class and sit next to me!”
Oh, these kids never cease to amaze and bless me. I’ll be sending an envelope your way with the coins in it so you can “help more kids come to our school.” Sometime before you leave, you’ll have to come to our classroom and share a little bit more-I know they would love it. Thanks for all of your hard work! It doesn’t go unnoticed, even by the youngest of learners.
Those coins will so motivate me in the midst of a rainy day, or when my legs and feet are sore from hiking 15 miles with 5 more to go before camp, or when loneliness begins to speak words of discouragement. Those coins will bring a smile to my face and a determination that will resound in my spirit. Thank you Miss K____ for sharing this wonderful story with me.