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10 to Win! Initiative aims to support Davie educators 

It was an old stone building, on a side street in the sleepy little town of Mocksville.

But it scared me half to death. I’m sure a few tears were shed, as well.

In reality, it wasn’t scary at all.

But to a 6-year-old boy — spoiled to the core and seeing strangers for the first time without his family by his side — it was scary.

That little stone building is now the home to administrative offices of the Davie County School System. Back then, it was a school, housing the first and maybe second grade for Mocksville students.

That little boy was me, some 56 years ago, about to go to school for the first time. The first grade.

We had no kindergarten for preparation. Preschool? That was Miss Molly, parents or siblings. Open house? I don’t remember that, either.

I do remember falling in love that first year. With my teacher, then with a cute little girl who sat next to me. There were no teachers or cute little girls in my small neighborhood, so it was understandable.

I do remember feeling safe and loved. Like now, teachers back then cared for their students.

Next week, there will be dozens of cute little boys and girls leaving their mother’s apron strings for the first time. They’ll be nervous. They’ll be scared. They’ll feel lost. But right there — helping them along the way — will be teachers and assistant teachers, principals and assistant principals, cafeteria workers and volunteers. Just like 56 years ago, they’ll make these cute little boys and girls feel safe and comfortable, loved and important.

It’s a tough job being an educator. And an important one. People pretty much just hand over their most precious possessions to educators, hoping, no expecting, them to mold their little darlings into successful and happy young adults.

Add to that burden that it’s 2020. We all know 2020. It’s the year that won’t go away. It’s the year that will go down as the worst in many of our lives.

If you think your life in 2020 is less than desirable, imagine being an educator. This student is online, this other is in the class. One is struggling here, another over there. Imagine the chore of just trying to keep kindergarten and first-grade students from touching one another, from removing their face masks. And all of this is assuming that things go as planned, which they won’t. Things never go exactly as planned.

For months, employees at Davie County Schools have been working overtime, from teachers learning new tools to help them teach online and figuring out how to teach to a classroom not full of — but with students six feet apart, to the custodians responsible for making sure everything is cleaned — often.

It’s a daunting task and one we shouldn’t take for granted. You’ll not be happy with every decision the school system makes, but know that every decision is being made with your child in mind. What’s best for the student?

Our educators deserve our support.

The Enterprise Record is starting an initiative to let our school system employees know that we are with them 100%. We’re calling it 10 to Win!, a program in which local businesses sign up to offer a 10% discount to all school employees. There’s no cost to the businesses, who become eligible for a prize drawing. They’ll get some free publicity in the newspaper and on our website, www.ourdavie.com. They’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing that they’re an integral part of a community, a community that cares about its children and schools, and the people who make sure those precious little ones get all of the attention they need.

C’mon, let’s show our support for educators.

Mike Barnhardt is editor of the Davie County Enterprise Record.