Springboard to Learning has touched the lives of millions of children over its 112 years of combined history. However, since our primary means of student contact occurs in the classroom and we seldom interact with parents of students, we are unable to maintain student contact. As a result, when we locate a Springboard to Learning alum, we get REALLY excited. I recently had the pleasure of meeting one of our alums at a Focus St. Louis gathering. When I told her I was the Executive Director of Springboard to Learning her face lit up and she began telling me how Springboard to Learning had changed her life.
This is what she shared:
“More than 35 years ago, Springboard to Learning altered the course of my life!
As a third grader who walked to the neighborhood public school every day, I had never traveled outside of Missouri except when Ms. Edward’s Springboard to Learning lessons transported our class to her home country of Uganda. She conjured up images of children’s games, women in white cotton, and a landscape quite unlike the Midwest. One time she brought in African instruments for us to play, another class she taught us about wildlife conservation.
As a final class project, Ms. Edwards asked us to demonstrate what we learned from her curriculum. I created a book, filled with colorful drawings of the amazing culture she sparked in my imagination. Something in those drawings must have conveyed how much she had influenced my worldview. Ms. Edwards singled me out for a prize, presenting me with a handwoven bag of blue, orange and golden triangles that could hold letters. For years that bag hung on my bulletin board, reminding me of my treasured Springboard to Learning experience.
How can I measure the impact Ms. Edwards had on me? Because of her, I became involved in global human rights issues in high school. I chose Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service for college and spent a year abroad. After graduating I worked in international relations for the government of Japan and discovered like-minded colleagues back home at the World Affairs Council of St. Louis. In my travels I sought not to be just a tourist, but to connect with others at a human level.”
– Robin Hattori
Sr. Project Manager
Washington University in St. Louis – School of Medicine
(314) 768-9670 ext. 101