A Pilot Light Teacher’s Story

Here is a letter we received from a 3rd grade Pilot Light teacher, who saw that her students took lessons learned in Pilot Light to support, welcome and comfort a Turkish student who had just moved to Chicago from a refugee camp:
Dear Pilot Light,
I have been a Pilot Light teacher for the last 2 years and I wanted to let you know how much the program has changed the way I approach some topics and most importantly, how this particular class has been positively impacted by the program.Ray is a very multicultural school with students from approximately 35 countries. In my class alone there are students from Mexico, China, France, and most recently, Turkey.

The student who just moved from a refugee camp in Turkey speaks little to no English and on his first day, was scared to eat lunch because he didn’t recognize the food and was worried about accidentally eating pork. The other students in my class immediately began opening their lunches to find foods that they remembered seeing or learning about and sharing their food, while one student ran upstairs to get me. The next day, I had students bring hummus, flatbread, extra cucumbers, carrots and olives with them to make sure he had food he would eat and would make him happy.

I have taught for many years and I always have the very best of classes. I am still surprised that these 8-year-old students recognized and understood the comfort and safety that food can provide when you feel alone and scared, how it connects you to who you are and allows you to express that to others. This is because of Pilot Light. 

For this reason and the many others that I have not had the opportunity to share, I thank you. You have made a HUGE difference in the lives of my students, even if they don’t recognize the catalyst of that difference.

Chandra Garcia-Kitch
3rd Grade Teacher, Ray Elementary School

Do you want to bring Pilot Light to your school and like Ms. Garcia-Kitch, support your students in connecting with each other and making healthier choices through food education?  Applications for the 2017-2018 school year are open now.  Apply today!
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