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By: Samantha Kruse, Senior Account Supervisor, Edelman

“Without you, without the affectionate hand you extended to the small poor child that I was, without your teaching and example, none of all this would have happened,” wrote French-Algerian journalist, playwright, and philosophical essayist Albert Camus to his former childhood teacher Monsieur Germain upon winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. Camus’ letter is an incredible example of the profound impact that teachers have on the lives of their students, whether or not they grow up to become Nobel laureates.

While teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders involved in education deserve recognition all year long, this week – National PTA®’s Teacher Appreciation Week – is set aside to appreciate and to thank our nation’s educators. Don’t forget to share some love with a teacher in your life this week, as Albert Camus did many years ago.

May 8-12, WWPR Pro Bono client Bright Beginnings, Inc. (BBI) is celebrating its teachers and home visitors. This year’s Teacher Appreciation Week theme is “Teachers Deliver,” and teachers do deliver so much to students. They inspire and motivate children and encourage parents to engage in their children’s learning. BBI is focused on providing children with a safe, nurturing educational environment; preparing children to enter kindergarten ready to learn; and supporting homeless parents to stabilize their home lives and become self-sufficient. Early childhood educators are an essential role in learning because they support the building blocks for student access in kindergarten and beyond.

I can still remember direct quotes from my own fifth grade teacher, and I’ve saved encouraging greeting cards from teachers over the years that have helped me achieve both personal and professional goals. My years teaching English as a Foreign Language in Spain were three of the most exhausting yet rewarding of my adult life. I’ve witnessed and played a role in the significance of teacher-student relationships from both sides, and I believe that these relationships are defining moments for both the educator and the pupil, and that the work of teachers in our communities is an under-appreciated contribution on the whole.

Since 1990, BBI has offered a bright start for homeless infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and their families, serving about 162 children every day whose families are living in crisis shelters or transitional housing. BBI is grateful for its 30 highly-qualified, caring teachers who understand the special needs of children who are experiencing the trauma and chaos of homelessness.