I learn so much by listening to our wise students. Some of our seniors were overhead saying that May 7th was taken from us, but they cannot have May 6th or May 8th. While I know this isn’t the same for everyone, reclaiming is one pathway to healing for many in our community.
May 7th could be defined in many ways for STEM School Highlands Ranch. Last year we created STEMShares as a way to take steps toward reclaiming and healing. It has boldness and power and is focused around a spirit of giving. We don’t want to forget the sacrifice and heroism of that day, and taking back that day to infuse goodness large and small into our community is a way to reclaim May 7th.
Giving has long been recognized as a healing gesture. Giving provides more to the originator than to the recipient. By sharing all the ways our community is giving, we build a collective spirit of benevolence and goodness. Reclaiming and redefining May 7th as a day of giving is a positive way to collectively come together as a community and spread good will.
One of my favorite children’s books is I’m in Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor. It is about a woman who lives alone in the desert. She sees beauty where others see desert. I think one reason I love this book, besides the illustrations and ideas, is that it moves the locus from external to internal. She claims the right to decide her worldview.
Many have attempted to tell our community how May 7th should be marked. As the most culturally diverse school in Douglas County, STEM is deeply respectful of the parental role. STEMShares respects each student, family and staff members’ decision to decide what is best for them.
We are 100% funded and staffed for the mental health needs for our community. We know that being fully funded and staffed does not erase mental health issues. If funding and resources solved mental health needs, families with adequate resources would not suffer and we know mental health impacts all socioeconomic strata. Schools throughout the country struggle with significant mental health issues. STEM encourages everyone in our community to use the resources available and to reach out when they are in need.
We hope that you explore more about our STEMShares initiative that will run from May 3-7, to find ways to give back. You can share how you’ve given back by using the submission form on that page, so that we can share it with our community. Writing letters of gratitude, donating time to those in need, planting a garden, calling grandparents, reading to children, or really any need you observe. Your ideas will inspire the rest of us to do more.
Thank you for being part of our healing community,
P.J. Eucker PhD