On Monday, December 9, the CCA Staff along with Jono Lancaster visited Lilianna, Abigail, and Joseph Hernandez's school, JC Austin Elementary School in Mesquite, TX. We were escorted by the Assistant Principal, Ms. Jane Freeman and Brie Hernandez, CCA Mom, who was a wonderful advocate making this visit possible!
Then, in the classrooms, the students proved how attentive they actually were, asking follow up questions with incredible detail, heart, and depth. Jono patiently answered them all and encouraged them to speak up and talk to trusted people (teachers, parents, and friends) when things are hard. Bringing the pain to the surface and talking about it is healing; bottling it up inside hurts both the person with the pain and the others who are trying to help them.
After all the questions were asked, all the classrooms were visited, and all the favorites were compared (what's your favorite food... color... place to go... sport... video game...), Jono left but not before he gave out his own homework assignment! He told the students that they needed to think of one thing that they are scared to say out loud and to write that down. After taking some time to really think about it, he encouraged them to share it with someone they trusted. The second assignment was to write down something they truly love about themselves and to put that in a special place - a bathroom mirror, a bedroom wall, or maybe their desk, and to look it at daily to remind themselves how special they are to this world!