As we wrap up the second week of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve decided to list five facts for which I’m grateful in my role at AEA. In no particular order:

1. The fact that we continue supporting hundreds of families with food on a daily basis, and will augment this next week with personal hygiene products. These are challenging times, and with over three million Americans filing for unemployment benefits this week alone we are likely to see an increased need.

2. Staff who have been working tirelessly both online with students as well as in various operational support roles to insure the organization continues to function.

3. Governor Newsom for establishing supports so that AEA staff will continue to be compensated during the closures.

4. A Board of Trustees that has built a responsible financial reserve over the past 15+ years, so that in case of unanticipated emergencies these funds might be used to meet commitments.

5. The natural world. While the entire human world seems to have been upended, our local flora and fauna are flourishing, especially with the recent rains. It is well worth a walk in nature to re-set some perspectives and provide temporary relief from incessant news alerts.

Stay safe and stay healthy…