Zariya, cast member for 2 years
The morning after the election we had a scheduled rehearsal for a teacher training session to be held that night in Costa Mesa, California. Almost every one of our student-actors had eyes swollen from too little sleep or from crying at the election returns. One asked, "what happens when the bully gets even more power? Or when he gets one of the most powerful positions in the world? What happens to us then?"
It was a simple question... but still a question that no one wanted to answer.
An incredible amount of dedication to the program and increased commitment to making schools safer got us through a difficult rehearsal and then a training that night. The young actors were amazing. The teachers were engaged and appreciative.
One elementary school teacher remarked, "I really did not want to go anywhere tonight, I felt so overwhelmed. My 2nd graders were asking about "the wall" they had heard about from the news and wanting to know if their parents would be thrown over this wall. Their parents are citizens but the kids just hear something about a wall for Mexicans and they are scared. I just wanted to go home and cry. But I am so glad I came here tonight. Learning about how to make kids safer in class (no matter why they are bullied or tormented or frightened) is the most important thing I could possibly do tonight and you made it so interesting and gave us so many tools. Thank you for tonight. The training made me feel more prepared and your students made me feel more hopeful."
From that first day after the election, we could tell that this training program is needed more than ever. We wish we could offer it to any school that wanted it. We just don't have the capacity to add more sessions without more funding.
But you can help!
On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, we are participating in #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering a 50% match on donations made on #GivingTuesday, November 29th up to the first $1 million raised on GlobalGiving.org.This is the largest amount of matching funds GlobalGiving has ever had in one day!
Will you help us qualify for some matching funds? Just make a donation to this project as soon as possible after 9:00 pm PST /midnight EST on MONDAY, November 28.
We will send you a reminder next week.
Thank you for your generous support of this project- you are helping thousands of students have a safer, more welcoming environment from kindergarten to senior year!