On her first day of school, Kayla was already behind
From day one, through no one’s fault, Kayla was standing out at school and falling behind in her learning. Her classmates wore new uniforms and shoes; Kayla wore her cousin’s hand-me-downs and carried her school books in a plastic bag. Kayla’s bubbly, curious personality became increasingly hidden as she realised she couldn’t keep up at school.
It was devastating for Ruth and Ray to see - but they were struggling, too. Ray, a cabbie, worked overtime most days. Ruth picked up work wherever she could, as well as caring for five children. Still, it wasn’t enough for things like new uniforms and shoes that fit, a school bag and excursions. There weren’t enough hours in the day to help the little ones learn their alphabet and practice reading.
“When I ask Kayla how her day at school was, she says ‘great’. But I can see how much she’s struggling. I can see her fighting back the tears. It breaks my heart that I can’t give her what she needs and make things better for her.” – Ruth, Kayla’s guardian