Friday, February 08, 2008
A ritzy school visit
Yesterday I spent the day (and previous night) in CH, Texas, doing a school visit. In three sessions of about 200 kids each, I presented to the entire school. The kids were attentive and asked great questions. The teachers were enthusiastic and so very supportive. I brought along a few books and calendars, and almost everything sold out. One teacher even talked me out of a roll of my wallpaper!
CH is in an upper socio-economic community, just south of Dallas. The school is encircled by large, expensive-looking homes. A fountain so large that it looks like a lake sits just below the school. The community is swank to say the least. What surprised me the most — and this is gonna sound awful, I know — is that CH is a predominately African American community. Days before my visit, when the librarian and I discussed what books I should bring, she told me about the school's African-American makeup. I expected the community to be more like others I'd visited in certain areas of Dallas — scary.
As I carried my bags into the school, parents driving expensive-looking cars and SUVs dropped their kids off in front of the building. These kids were not being bused in. Little brown kids dressed in khaki pants and simple shirts skipped past me. No gangsta sagging pants. No little girls dressed like they were going to night clubs.
After the morning bell rang, the vice principle made his morning announcements over the intercom, stating that WF Elementary students are all college bound. Wow! What a great school this was. And the students made me feel like a rock star.