Back To School: Letter from Heath Kull, President
This year has been anything but normal. If it were normal, I’d be writing my annual “Back to School” letter. Instead, I am writing to you and hoping that you are doing well. I consistently pray for all y’all and that the good Lord will continue to bless you and those you hold dear.
Our society has a set of rules and norms we live by in order to maintain some semblance of a “normal” society. Those rules and norms have changed this year and that has a powerful impact on kids and their families. Planned change is hard and unplanned change often creates insecurity, anxiety, fear and withdrawal. Many are experiencing some or all of these as things are so uncertain right now.
As for The Ranches and the current pandemic
The news is rather bland. Being located 20 miles from the nearest town on a gated campus has its benefits. In reality, we haven’t seen much change in the ways that I thought that we would be. The truth is, we haven’t closed at all. The biggest effect is calls from parents who aren’t in a predictable structure for school. Thankfully, we have continued to operate our school in a fairly normal fashion.
The biggest change in our program is in our Hubbard cottage where we have restructured to allow us to quarantine new kids for a couple of weeks to insure the health and safety of all residents and staff. This means we can continue to offer hope to families in need.
As far as external changes, the biggest is the disruption to our normal county fair routine. In most years, we receive substantial donations of 4-H animals from county fairs. The donated steers and pigs serve to limit our reliance on the grocery store for beef and pork. While the fairs are doing their best to continue, they have changed considerably due to the inability to gather for auctions and shows. In some cases, fairs are limiting our attendance to one member of our staff. While we are appreciative, the disruption to the routine can be a little unsettling. Thankfully, many of the members of the county fair community have reached out and made adjustments to insure our supply of protein for the kids.
Thank You For Your Back To School Support
Thankfully, our donors continue to support us during this time and again allow us the opportunity to address, assist and help New Mexico’s most vulnerable young residents. If you’d like to help us to support families during this time, we encourage you to visit our website or find us on Facebook or other social media platforms and check out what we’re up to and find ways that you can help support hope for kids who are struggling with not going back to school in a normal way this year.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all students as they adjust to new rules, new settings and new ways of learning.
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