10 July

Hugs From The Silverstein Art Brigade

by Jon Katz

This is a now standard thing when we visit Bishop Maginn, a group hug. Maria got the first one.

I go to Bishop Maginn High School every Wednesday, (sometimes more) and Maria comes every other week. She and Blue have connected to one another in a special way, and they talk about art and life (I’m not sure what they talk about.)

The twins, Issachar and Asher, are usually there, part of the Sue Silverstein Art Brigade that meets in the mornings most weekdays throughout the summer. Some of the refugee students  have no place else to go in the summer, they come and are free to work on their art, read, or just talk.

Sometimes they really need to talk, these kids have known extraordinary hardship and are working hard to put their lives together.

Sue is their safe place, their refuge, she talks to them and looks out for them. And she teaches them to be good and do good. The lessons are working.

Today I brought books for Blue and the twins – novels and astrology tomes. I brought baseball caps for Ishar and Issachar, and a new pair of Lee jeans for each of them. They had no caps and no jeans.

I got some jokes from Issachar and had a long talk with Asher.

As we left, these three beautiful children came up to each of us and gave us a group hug, something that is not permitted in the public school system. I’m not often hugged, but I treasure this one. Sometimes these kids just need a hug, and if you hear their stories, it’s easy to understand why.

I was lucky to have my camera out when Maria got her hugs, it is a gift to know these gifted young people, and to have them in our lives. They are lucky to be in the Bishop Maginn High School, they learn love and compassion there.

An Army Of Good Angel send Sue Silverstein $300 so these kids could have some fun (I’m funding a Spider-man movie trek next week.). They voted to come to Bedlam Farm next week, the school is hiring a bus to bring them and some other students.

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