2020 has been a year unlike any other. The word “unprecedented” has almost lost its meaning, for it felt like every week this year posed a new challenge we hadn’t seen before. Long-standing challenges seemed insurmountable at times: COVID-19, racial injustice, political and economic turmoil, and an education system that was already struggling to meet the needs of our children, despite the best efforts of our educators and administrators who are often under-supported in their work.
It was against this backdrop that those educators and administrators, as well as families and communities, persevered to continue educating our students. They did their best to support students as the shift to distance and hybrid learning took place.
At MIND, we reflected back on our core values to help guide us through this year—people, problem solving, and learning. That reflection led to a series of actions and initiatives over the past several months that led to more students having access to ST Math than at any other point in our organization's history.
That reflection also led us to examine how we can better live up to our own core values and increase diversity, equity, and inclusion—not only for the families, schools, and students we serve, but within our own organization.
Through all of this, our partners have supported and inspired us. Tremendous acts of giving, support of frontline workers, and bolstering community services for families are just a sample of the amazing work our partners are doing across the country—in addition to the extra support they have given to MIND. Without our partners, the work we have needed to do during this time could not have been possible.
As we reflect on this past year, we look to the next with a renewed strength and sense of purpose. We are reminded of the Mr. Rogers story that’s been quoted many times over, and it is so appropriate to the times we are living in: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”
Thank you to our partners, colleagues, teachers, administrators, and families who banded together this year to support students, and continued to prepare them to solve the kinds of problems we are facing now. These students are becoming the problem solvers of the future.