“It’s suspenseful because you don’t know when you are going to get your letter. You basically have to wait until you get your name called up. But when you get your letter, you can’t wait to see what’s inside,” said 6th grader Gabriel Castillo.
There was a feeling of suspense and excitement this week at Perkins K-8 School as the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at the University of San Diego delivered more than 400 handwritten letters of encouragement to every student. Students were invited to an assembly to receive the letters from the fraternity members who know the children personally after tutoring students weekly.
Perkins K-8 School is a public school in the Barrio Logan neighborhood. About 400 students attend Perkins from Kindergarten through 8th grade. In 2014, approximately 3% of the students were homeless. In 2019, that number grew to nearly 40%.
“One of the big things I have noticed since my first time coming here and working with the kids is they are very reserved and closed off to us and within just a week the kids will light up and they know all of our names. They will come up and give us hugs the moment we walk in and that just shows how willing they are to open up to us because when we show that we care and want to be there for them, it gives them the opportunity to express themselves in a way that they don’t typically get to with adults,” said Cooper Miller, Vice President of Community Outreach for USD’s Beta Theta Pi.