A good tree

Teachers in Sri Lanka are opening schools — even if all they have is a shady tree.

“A good tree will be fine to start an open-air school in areas where we can’t repair the building,” said Medagama. “Some of the schools have just disappeared and some have collapsed,” Medagama said. “Those which are standing will need furniture and massive cleaning. But this is not going to stop us from restarting schools.”

As Brian Micklethwait, who’s back to blogging, puts it: “When people want education, they get it. Not even a giant wave can stop it for very long.”

A teacher at an inner-city school tells what happened when his second graders heard an appeal to help victims of the tsunami.

The next thing I know is that I have six students dropping quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies (even a couple of dollar bills) on my desk to donate to the relief effort. A total of $10.40! I was most touched when S. dropped two quarters down and said, “Maybe another little boy could buy a soda with this.”

I felt true awe at my students this day. Please note that these kids are from an inner city school in an extremely impoverished area. Many are recent immigrants living in some pretty horrendous conditions themselves.

The next day, the second graders donated more than $30.

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