Thank you all for your incredible readership. It’s an honor to write this column each week as a way of spreading the word and works of great education we do at Grauer. This week, as background for my column, I submit a disturbing news article detailing the slaughter of an amazing creature, the Grauer Gorilla.
When I have brought up this topic, many people have grinned: “You must be kidding.” “Nice try, very funny.” Even some naturalists I met in Africa thought I was joking when I told them about our mascot, the Grauer Gorilla. I assure you first that this mascot is real and, secondly, it was chosen for reasons more profound than a coincidence in the name of this creature.
The Grauer Gorilla, as depicted in this article, below, lives in a small, protected area that has been the merciless target of poachers for many years, yet they persist. If you look at their history, it makes no sense that they still exist: they need open space, there are not enough of them to sustain a strong population, they live free.
To me, they are showing that with strength, perseverance, and resourcefulness, we can prevail against the odds. I feel the same way about The Grauer School. In a sense, we exist against all odds! Competitor schools have been attempting to poach our mission statement and values for many years, but they cannot capture it. In a world of diminishing personalization and overcrowding, how is it even possible that we offer classes capped at 12 students, averaging 7 in a class, and at 80% the price of competitor schools? In a world of increasing standardization and overcrowding, how is it possible that we can sustain a small school where kids really feel connected—to their teachers, to their school ecosystem, to their fellow students? All this is endangered across the country. And yet, at The Grauer School, we are preserving it all for generations to come. I hope this will come to mind, and with pride, the next time you see a gorilla!