Around the world, in the United States, and in Haiti, our communities’ mothers are among our first teachers.

While the surroundings change from home to home, moms here and abroad share the gifts they have to give and the life lessons they’ve learned. They see what can be, and they take the time, energy, and care to nurture hopes and dreams in their children.

This weekend, the Caneille Regional Development Fund’s virtual Mother’s Day 5K celebrates the role mothers and mother figures play in families and education. It’s not too late to sign up! The at-your-own-pace walk/run will start tomorrow, Sunday, May 2 and conclude Sunday, May 9, on the holiday.

When I think about my mom’s earliest influences on my education, a few memories that spring to mind involve paper labels, coffee table books, libraries, and apple trees.

My mom, a nurse, stayed at home when I was young. She is one of the reasons I am the bookworm and lifelong learner that I am.

When she picked up on my penchant for learning new words quickly as a toddler, she plastered practically every accessible surface in our house with vocabulary labels for each item.

My parents provided me with an at-home library. I loved being up and ready for class, dressed in my elementary school uniform, early enough to fit in morning reading time. This time I reserved for coffee table books with copious pages and brilliantly colored illustrations. With the books spread over my lap like a blanket, I’d absorb information about weather, nature, and the countries of the world. I learned about Haiti this way!

My mom introduced me to the library as well, bringing even more books into my orbit. She gave me a big “book basket” and let me fill it. Then, she set me up in our yard with my basket of books on a picnic blanket under our apple trees. Now, I’ll catch a glimpse of my version of a “book basket” in the corner of my bedroom where I store my library books and smile, thinking back to my roots.

Celebrate Your Mother

Get moving with the moms or mother figures in your lives during the family-friendly Mother’s Day 5K. Participating is a way to both connect with the ones you love, and also to support and honor the work of women in Haiti to empower their children’s learning.

Register and get more details via the event’s Facebook page. The participation fee is a one-time gift of $20 which goes directly to creating opportunity through education in rural Haiti.

Entry in a random prize drawing applies to all those who sign up for the event. Submit photos of your walk/run fun to be eligible for additional prizes! While we suggest 5K, it’s OK to set your own goals as you feel comfortable.

For more information about this event, or if you want to learn more about the nonprofit and how you can get involved, message the Caneille Regional Development Fund on Facebook.

By Kara Patterson, CRDF board member

Kara and her mother