As my second child enters Pre-K, I find myself suddenly not spending my days taking care of or educating a child for the first time in seven years, I find myself in a reflective and thankful mood.
Seven years ago after earning my teaching certification, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA and become a lifetime member in the National Educator’s Honor Society Pi Lambda Theta. I was looking forward to beginning my second career. However, the following Sunday, my first-born was born.
Given the childhood I had and since I did not want to repeat the family dynamic that I grew up in, it was an easy decision for me to spend my days with my child(ren) and remain in the restaurant industry in the evenings. While that decision may have hurt my chances of getting a teaching job, my children thrive today – knowledgeable, respectful, hardworking, and kind.
However, we didn’t do it alone. Every taxpayer in this county had a hand in our children’s early education, and I thank you. I took part in the baby Lap Time at Powell Library. Ms. Diane, Ms. Aimee, and Ms. Christine were integral people in my children’s early education, and I thank them. I will never forget the impromptu concerts with Mr. Bass and his guitar. I thank all the people involved in our library system where so many kids thrive.
My kids also had the privilege of participating in Story Time at Carnegie Library with Ms. Abby and Ms. Teri. All the people at Carnegie – volunteers, the workers, the director-were important molders of my children’s young minds.
My kids had the privilege of being a part of Puddle Jumpers. Thank you, Ms. Janie and Ms. Rhonda. Both children asked many times between Puddle Jumpers and Pre-K “when do I get to go back to Puddle Jumpers?” This a very valuable program and a jewel to our community.
Each of these community institutions had a hand in helping my wife and I create a foundation for our children. More importantly, these people and the entire city of Newnan has helped to create a sense of community for my family.
That’s something that I never had growing up and seems increasingly rare in our modern age. Whether one talks about the Munchkin Masquerades, the Pickin’ on the Squares, and other community events—or even just chalking Greenville Park with brightly colored messages of love and hope in preparation for a dark day- we really do have a special town that I am proud to call my home.
Most importantly, I am grateful to the residents of Newnan for making these investments into the libraries and The Puddle Jumpers Program. None of this would be possible without you. There are so many things that people do in this community to make this community better. Thank you for the lives that you touch.
Finally, I am grateful for this newspaper for informing me as to all the great people in this town. I’ve read stories about people who have turned tragedies and hardships into opportunities to help others- from NIC-U parents to victims of domestic violence. I’ve seen stories of a church providing shoes for an entire school.
I’ve seen the work of dedicated volunteers helping our homeless families and individuals. Thank you for finding these stories and showcasing the great people that make this town into a community.