We started our Learning for Tomorrow initiative because we believe learning is an important first step and one of the best starts in life a child can have. That’s why in 2015 alone we’ll be helping 10 million children get access to a quality education.
It’s been fascinating learning about different schools around the world, and we’ve loved meeting all the kids in our film and photos. Not forgetting, of course, so many proud parents!
Proud the whole world over
We learned very quickly that if there’s one thing all parents share, it’s a bursting pride on a child’s first day at school. It seems no parent can resist the ‘first day photo’, complete with extra-brushed hair, shined shoes and a jumper two-sizes-too-big. (Yet despite all our tidying and fixing, they never look quite so smart when they come tumbling out of the classroom.)
First day nerves – for you both
Understandably, many kids get nervous the night before their first day at school. So many unknowns! Yet with a whirlwind of emotions to manage, it’s often parents who are more anxious. Will the day be a success? Where has the time gone? How are my kids growing up so fast? It’s oddly reassuring to think we’re all worrying about the same things.
Such a milestone
How did you mark your child’s first day at school? Or even your own? It’s been truly fascinating learning about the first day traditions in different cultures. Like how children in India touch the feet of their elders to seek blessings before setting off to school. Or how Turkish mothers pin evil-eye charms inside children’s uniform, to keep the little ones safe on their big adventure.
Of course, these rituals aren’t simply actions that are passed down from one generation to another. They’re society’s way of acknowledging that starting school is a huge step in growing up. When we shine shoes, brush hair and tie ties, it’s our way of respecting the importance of education in all our lives.
In fact, wherever we’ve visited and whichever families we’ve spoken to, we hear the same story again and again. That as parents we simply want the best opportunities for our kids. Yes, we might take school for granted every now and then, even grumbling about washing sports kit and packing lunches. Yet we know, deep down, that it is a wonderful opportunity for our kids to learn. To grow. To explore the world – and their own potential. So here’s to first days at school – and many, many more to come.