Since schools have shut down due to the coronavirus, teachers have been scrambling to adjust their lesson plans and teaching methods to meet the new needs of students. The school closures have affected more than just students’ learning environment, though, it’s also been a barrier for students who rely on school-provided meals to eat.
This particular worry has been at the top of most educators’ minds as the months have gone by. Most schools have come up with creative ways to ensure their students are still fed. But, Zane Powles, an assistant headteacher at a school in England, may take the prize for the most dedicated, because by the time the academic year officially ended in mid-July, he had personally delivered 7,500 lunches to students.
For 17 weeks, every day, Zane would arrive at school around 7 am and start preparing lunches for 100 of his students. Once they were ready, he spent two hours delivering them to the students’ homes. He said he delivered half by car and the other half on foot, walking around 7 miles a day.
He told a news outlet, “When I started these walks I was concerned about the kids and their well-being and I wanted to make sure I could see them all.. I needed to know if they were safe, if they were healthy, and if they had access to food.”
When school let out, the students switch over to vouchers that they exchange for meals. Even though Zane knows his students have another means for food, he is still working to support kids with food insecurity. He started raising money for two charities in England that help provide meals to students when they’re not in school.
His driving force is simply that he believes kids should be taken care of and that it’s part of his job to do his part to make sure that happens. He said, “In the summer the children’s struggles are invisible to us because we don’t see them, but it’s essential that we ensure they’re safe.”
Zane’s passion for his job and his students has been evident for years, and in 2019 he won the “Inspirational Primary School Teacher Award” after being nominated by a parent. His acceptance speech sums up, in two sentences, just how dedicated he is to his students. He said, “We should never give up on children. Having a tough upbringing is never their fault.”
You can learn more about Zane’s fundraiser here, and be sure to share his story with your friends, too.
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