Editor's note: Ace is blogging about being a dad trying to rebound from the coronaivrus pandemic at My Rebound by FOX 17. He desired for his son to feel both pride in and connection to his Filipino heritage, so he founded the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival in 2016. Also a banker, he recently resigned from his position – now staying full-time with his 6-year-old son. He and his wife, son and dog live in Plainfield Township.
Did Redd actually graduate kindergarten or not?
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Homeschooling is no joke. Following the lesson plan and making sure Redd remains focused can be a challenge. He loves to ask many questions, and sometimes I wonder if he is asking me questions to avoid doing school work. The other day, we spent 10 minutes laughing at his joke — something he actually made up himself.
"What did the mouse say to the photographer?"
"Where is the cheese?"
I feel like Redd and I both graduated. We both followed closely the tasks Miss B set for us. I am in awe of the incredible work that the teachers put into quickly adjusting to the challenges of public buildings closing, months before school ends. The Zoom meetings with his class and class videos kept Redd connected and engaged.
I want to congratulate West Oakview School for focusing on their students and supporting their families. I will not forget the help the school provided. On Tuesdays, we would pick up printed schoolwork and the complete free lunch that Redd just loves.
At first, I felt terrible taking the free lunches as I thought many others could really need them. Still, I was quickly reminded by one of the volunteers that the lunch is to provide support to the families of Northview schools, no questions asked. Since I am not receiving a paycheck, Redd and I pick up lunch on Tuesdays. Last week, the lunch bag included a sweet note reminding us that they are there to provide lunch every Tuesday and Thursday, even in summer.
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When I was young, I grew up in a food-insecure household. I hesitated initially to take the free lunch, as it was a reminder of the past and the feeling of shame. I kept thinking that we could be taking away from someone in dire need.
Redd and I talked about the significance of this school lunch to us and for others. To me, the word community means we are there to help lift each other up, to help when we need it. There are no complaints from Redd, as he loves the variety of meals, as opposed to my quick homemade dishes.
And yes, Redd did graduate kindergarten, all thanks to his school, his fantastic teachers, and I would say me, but no. It was Redd's hard work with the support from both his mother and me, so we celebrated Redd's last day with a picture at school. He also wanted a cheeseburger (no pickles, just ketchup) and french fries.
Thank you once more to Northview Schools for taking good care of their students and families.