A letter from FSH Chief Possibility Officer, Cathe Dykstra

Dear Family Scholar House Community,
 
The events of the past week have resonated across our nation and into other parts of the world.  Here at Family Scholar House where we have 278 children living with us, we have been hugging our kiddos tighter and a little more often, knowing that other families are grieving the loss of their family members.
 
We advocate for education – early childhood, primary, secondary, post-secondary – every day and have taken for granted that schools would be a safe place to develop young minds and the next generation of leaders. Today, we join others in hoping that schools may again feel safe to all students.
 
I had the chance to speak with a few of our children as they played in our parking lot when I was leaving the office on Saturday afternoon.  I hugged them and talked about Santa, asking them what they wanted Santa to bring.  One of the older boys (age 11) asked why I needed so many hugs.  I told him that there had been some bad news about children in Connecticut on Friday and I was just glad to be able to love on all of our kids.  
 
He responded, “Oh, yea, the kids that were killed.”  
 
And then, before I could say anything, the children around me began chiming in:
 
“I’ve seen people get shot.”
“My cousin was killed in a drive-by.”
“We lived where people get shot alot.”
 
And, it continued.
 
When I got in my car, I found myself so very sad for all that our children have seen, heard and experienced that makes violence like this seem normal.  I also thanked God for the opportunity to have them nestled in the family that is Family Scholar House.  A place that we work diligently to make safe, secure, stable, and hopeful.  A place where they can learn, grow and realize their full potential   A place where their parents can be role models for them in education and in life.
 
I wish you the very best that this holiday season can hold and a wonderful start on the new year. Thank you for all that each of you do to support Family Scholar House.
 
Happy Holidays!
 
Cathe
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