[success_box] “A monk once asked Zen Master Yun-men, “What is the essence of the Supreme Teaching?” Yun-men said “When the spring comes the grass grows by itself.” *[/success_box] With the coming of spring, we are excited about the opportunities that come with longer and brighter days, as well as the growth of the grass and the greening of trees. We look forward to the renewal that occurs each spring as we transition into the new season.

As the quote above implies, the growth of the grass is universal and occurs without our conscious thought or intervention. However, we know that this growth occurs most consistently and reliably when the environmental conditions are right. Light, water, nutrients, and the absence of toxins are essential for the growth and development of lush lawns and grassy spaces.

The grass in this quote is a metaphor for our young people. They too will grow each year without thought or intervention. Yet we know that they also need the right environmental conditions to thrive. To become the best that they can be, they require bright clean classrooms, caring adults, protections from toxic elements in the community, and engaging educational opportunities which nourish their minds.

Our primary goal at the Detroit Public schools Foundation is to participate in the creation of the right environment for learning within and around each Detroit Public School. With the support of our donors we are able to nurture relationships, offer stimulating experiences, and expand the horizons for our young people.  When the spring comes, we know that the teaching that has occurred throughout the year has caused the intellectual growth that we want for each student. We are grateful for the support that we receive from the community which ensures that we are able to be a part of this growth.

*from THE ESSENCE OF WISDOM by Stephen Mitchell