Sanctuary Of School Essay

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Lynda Barry describes a childhood of neglect in “The Sanctuary of school” (1996). She grew up in a dysfunctional family where she was a “child with the sound turned off”. Her family struggled with poverty and substance abuse. This could have been disastrous if not for the intervention of a caring teacher. Mrs. LeSane, her elementary teacher, believed in using art as therapy to help troubled children. Ms. Barry feels that attending school and the availability of creative programs like art and music are essential to kids. Barry is adamant that children from dysfunctional homes, like the one she grew up in, can greatly benefit from the stable environment school can provide. Her belief is that by funding creative programs and providing before and after school programs, children and parents can both benefit. Barry questions why we as a society are allowing budget cuts in education to fail these at risk children. Ms. Barry’s idea of neglected children benefiting from school was thought provoking. My daughter has mentioned on several occasions how members of her class have come to school hungry or dirty. I have met some of these children on my visits to her class. I never thought much about it until reading Ms. Barry’s story. I wonder if those kids with the dirty, and ill-fitting clothes are from neglectful homes. I can think of many kinds of neglect, some intentional like physical or verbal abuse and some unintentional, like parents suffering from poverty. As a single mother with a small salary, I have often struggled with difficult decisions, most related to a lack of money. I can sympathize with parents struggling with low incomes. It is extremely difficult and sometimes impossible to provide a safe home, adequate childcare, and nutritious food on a limited budget. The

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