Editor’s Note: Sandy Springs Together periodically publishes letters or comments from community members who raise a concern we feel should be considered by the broader community.
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By RM Hoelting
Since retiring 5 years ago, I have been fortunate enough to be able to tutor at Lake Forest Elementary School.
I say fortunate because this school is filled with the most grateful, hardworking and humble children I have ever known.
The school’s enrollment is made up of more than 95% of children of Latino descent. And unfortunately, the last few years have seen these young children come under siege.
Most of the privileged children in Sandy Springs seem happy and carefree; relatively unaware of the troubles of society that confront the adults in their worlds.
Not so for the children at Lake Forest Elementary. They sometimes seem distracted, and at times even terrified about the events happening around housing and immigration — both locally and nationally.
These students are aware that their homes, the neighborhoods they reside in and the school that provides them with an exceptional education might soon be taken away from them.
These children at Lake Forest are part of our city. They are the sons and daughters of the workforce that serves our country in many ways; and they deserve, and are worthy, of all the opportunities that the rest of our children receive from our community.
Almost 100 Sandy Springs residents come into Lake Forest Elementary School to serve as tutors, to offer kindness, help and support. That is the kind of community we are — educated, caring and generous.
When I walk into my school and see so many Sandy Springs volunteers laughing, reading and hugging these children — it makes me proud to live in Sandy Springs.
We need to come together — not only to help these children learn and have opportunities — but to find a way to make sure they have an affordable home to reside in, so that we can learn from them and they can learn from us.
If we are going to spend millions for walking trails, surely we have enough to spend to ensure that these children and their families can afford to remain in our city.
A diverse community is a community that learns and thrives, and that’s what makes communities strong.