Our Eyes Were Opened

School Begins

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August 12

When Ber-ber went to the store today, she picked up the list of the school supplies that we’ll need this year. I looked at the list and my heart just fell to my feet. There’s no way that Mama can afford all this stuff. I don’t know if I’ll even show her the list. That will just make her feel bad.

 August 16

Even though I hadn’t shown Mama the list of school supplies, Ber-ber asked her if she’d seen it. Mama cut her eyes over at me and said, “No, should I have?”

I hung my head and said that I must have lost it.

Ber-ber said, “Child, you’d lose your head if it wasn’t fastened to your body. But don’t you worry. I know what you will do.”

Then she looked at Mama and said, “You go right down to the agency on Center Street and sign up for school supplies. They’ll give you what you need for your kids so don’t you worry. Your children will march into school just like everybody else with everything that’s on the list.”

At that, I smiled. Then I hugged Ber-ber with the biggest hug I could and whispered, “Thank you.”

September 6

I am so embarrassed. Our school tries its best not to let it be known who gets free lunch and who doesn’t. But some girls in my class figured out that I didn’t pay for my meals at school. I saw them whispering and glancing over at me. One of them tried to be nice and offered me a candy bar but that actually made it worse. I felt so little. I couldn’t even afford a candy bar. When she tried to be generous, her friends realized that I was poor and needed help. She wasn’t trying to be mean but it came across that way. It hurt because I really did want that treat but I wasn’t about to let that girl know how bad it was for me.

If you want to know more about Angelika, you can read about her in Angelika’s Journal, available at avenidabooks.com, at Ten Thousand Villages on Main Street in Greenville, SC, at Fiction Addiction behind Haywood Mall, or at online retailers. 

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Author: bethltempleton

Beth is founder and CEO of Our Eyes Were Opened, an organization that teaches people about poverty so that they may reach out with wisdom and compassion.

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