Night of Inspiration


Everyone looks for that one night of inspiration. What’s your inspiration? How does it make you feel inside? Does it make you smile or laugh? Do you dream about it?

What’s your definition of inspiration?

Last week, I attended an event called “The Family Night of Inspiration” held at Andrew H. Wilson Charter School. It was open to the public. It was an open house for the school to showcase all the wonderful opportunities that are taking place this year after the students and staff had an extremely trying time the year before.  

Walking through the gates, you were welcomed with open arms by someone who plays a huge part in the neighborhood and school. Mr.Coco is how he is known to students and staff. The Andrew H. Wilson Parent Teacher Connection group was at the door greeting and giving out grab bags filled with Wilson trinkets.

Many people were in attendance from all sorts of backgrounds—there were, of course, Wilson families and staff, InspireNOLA staff, residents of the neighborhood and greater New Orleans, politicians and media outlets. People I never thought would attend were there.

The atmosphere was like no other, so warm, friendly and inviting. It felt like a family gathering.  Everyone mingling, talking about the visible changes that have taken place at the school, of the education that our kids are receiving, what it will take for children to reach their highest potential, and the difference between schools now and before Katrina.

I talked to parents who have kids that attend Wilson and parents of kids who are in other public schools and private schools.

One conversation was with Mariah Marchand, a resident of Broadmoor with two kids who attend a local private school. She realized that public schools have so much to offer. She wants her kids to attend Wilson next year. Mariah said that her kids would have more opportunities at Wilson than are available at the school they attend now. They will learn so much more. She didn’t realize that public schools are not afraid to try new methods of learning and they challenge the kids.

It’s wonderful how adults are pulled together by youth and wanting to make sure they have the best opportunities available for them. Parents want to be involved with the educational experience of all communities. They want to be vocal but may not know the right way to go and what to do.

After that night, I was inspired to keep up my fight, to not worry about others who have lost focus. We must work harder to push parent involvement. We must stay positive and never give up. Our kids need adults to step up and show up. We are our kids’ voice.

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