7 November

Another Successful Wish List. Only Three Books Left

by Jon Katz

Thank you, thank you. The New Bishop Maginn Wish List is sold out, except for three remaining Spanish class textbooks (please buy used if you can), I’m going to buy a new one this morning for $47.00.

The used ones range from $23 to $87. I know it’s a bit pricey, I’ll buy the rest of no one can or wishes to.

The sleeping bags, socks, and blankets were all purchased within a couple of hours. Blessings to the Army Of Good. Thanks also to Kathleen,  the blog reader who sent four sleeping bags on Monday, and Elizabeth, who sent some sweaters.

If the need persists (and it will) there may be more wish lists.

I’ve been in a lot of schools in recent years, public and private, but there is something very special about Bishop Maginn, warmth and a sense of love and community.

I don’t mean it’s a paradise, or that there are no problems,  but there is an attitude about it that the students talk about all the time. I walked in Sue’s classroom just as Shania came up to give her a big daily hug.

There are so many issues relating to children, abuse and their safety it is important to be reminded that students often crave and need affection and support.

Sue is plenty tough in her classroom, but the students know she cares for them.

When they ask her for permission she doesn’t want to give, she says “no, I love you.” Takes the sting out. Principal Mike Tolan is everywhere in the building, he knows the students by name and can even talk Super Heroes with them.

He also fights constantly to make sure no student has to leave the school over tuition money. That’s a hard fight.

The students look out for one another, there is no bullying or cruel teasing.

Many of the students have come from dangerous places or hostile schools, they all – to a one – say they feel loved and safe and cared for at Bishop Maginn. And as importantly, they say they are learning.

That means a lot to them, they say they can learn and grow, and shed some fear and wariness.

That is the tone of the place, and you can see it on display in Sue Silverstein’s classroom and throughout the building.

Sue says one reason she loves teaching at Bishop Maginn is that she can hug the students, and they can hug her if they wish.

These winter clothes and blankets will make an enormous difference, especially to the poor and refugee families who cannot turn on the heat all day, or sometimes, at all.

The Bishop Maginn staff and teachers ask the students all the time if they need warmer clothing, as the winter wears on, the students and their families break down and ask for help.

I plan to be prepared for this.

If you wish to help, you can contribute by following our wish lists, or by sending a donation to me via Paypal, jon@bedlamfarm.com, or by check, Jon Katz. Mansion/Refugee clothing fund, P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. It’s my goal to see that no Mansion resident or Bishop Maginn students go without winter clothing or a way to be warm at night.

We’ve already made a great start, I’ve been getting the right clothes to the Mansion and Bishop Maginn all Fall. We’re close.

Thanks for your help.

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