As I drove past my local school recently I noticed that it was ‘Walk to school week’, this catapulted me into a thorny forest of guilt. Firstly due to the fact that if I used the local school I could walk there in about 5 minutes, and B about the many miles I clock up driving my children to school / preschool every day.
I’ve never actually calculated my weekly mileage, I fool myself that my ridiculous fuel consumption is down to someone stealing into our drive on a nightly basis and siphoning the diesel out. I’m going to do it today, safe in the knowledge that you’re there to pick me up when I keel over….
8.30 Frogmarch kidlings to car, strap them down, throw in random bags and shout until we’re ready to go – Drive to School
8.50 Slow down to enable 8yo to execute Starsky & Hutch style dismount. Park and accompany 5yo to class, just in time to catch the end of wake&shake
9.00 Drive 3yo to Pre School, brace self for inevitable Klingon attack
9.20 Dust self down and drive to home office, feeling guilty and ruined
11.30 Hastily finish tea/email/conference call/twittercon and race to pre school in time for pickup
Distance: 6.8m (round trip)
12.45 (Monday – Thursday) Struggle to get 3yo into afternoon uniform, persuade her that she really does want to go to ‘big school’
Distance: 12.6m (round trip)
15.00 (ish) Scream at the clock “That can’t be the time ALREADY?!” Dash out the door to scoop up all three in one hit…
Distance: 12.6m (round trip)
This doesn’t include the days that we detour for swimming lessons, shopping, visits to friends etc, but we’ll keep it simple for now…
Total school related weekly mileage: 211.4
Which means that in a month I do nearly a thousand miles just ferrying my kids to and fro school! That’s really quite shocking, although it does go some way to explaining why my car is the state it is – we practically live in there. But d’you know what? It’s worth it – my kids’ school really is outstanding. The small issues that I’ve had have always been dealt with swiftly and compassionately, I trust them to care for my kids and give them the best education that money can’t buy, and in September when my youngest starts there full-time I will literally be placing all my eggs in one basket.
With that in mind I’d like to tell you about a scheme that I learned about recently. I know that we’re lucky. We can choose from a number of really good schools in our area and with the right support from us at home our kids will definitely benefit from this start. Not everyone has the same choices, not every child gets the same support.
Last year saw the launch of a global initiative called Street to School, designed to help underprivileged children gain access to education. The scheme is underpinned by Aviva (previously Norwich Union) as part of its corporate responsibility programme. It began in India thanks to a collaboration between CRY and Save the Children and is being rolled out internationally.
The programme’s UK partner is Railway Children . If you’re not already familiar with this charity please take a minute to click the link, some of it makes for harrowing reading but it highlights just how important their work is.
How can you help?
You didn’t think you’d get off lightly did you?! You don’t have to give money, all you have to do is click a link and nominate someone – and we’ve all got very good at that lately!
For every entry Aviva will donate £1 to the Street to School Programme. A weekly prize of £1000 will also be awarded to the local hero that captures the hearts of visitors to the site and receives the most votes. One overall winner will be chosen by a celebrity judging panel for a prize worth £10,000.
So it’s easy, and it will take you no more than a few minutes to make a significant different to someone else’s life.
What are you waiting for?!