Written by: Drew Clary
"The ACE bus is coming!"
"A bus is coming!"
"A bus is coming?"
This is the reaction I imagine many of those—students and faculty alike—have when they first hear about our visits to their school as part of the Fighting for Our Children's Future National Bus Tour.
I'm sure this news is met with some excitement, but there must be some confusion as well. What exactly do we mean by a bus? Who's on this bus? Are there celebrities on the bus? Kids?
All this changes as soon as the bus actually comes around the corner and the students see it for the first time.
Recently at our stop at St. Vincent de Paul School in Phoenix, Arizona, the students reacted as we hadn't yet seen through forty-two cities. As soon as the bus came into view, kids (who were out on their fenced-in playground) sprinted toward it, pushing up against the fence to get a good view, and then ran down the driveway into the school, waving the bus to its final parking space.
Why are these children so excited about a big bus? Not to be overly humble, but it's probably not the passengers they're excited about. And while the children no doubt love their school, in many cases there's a chance it's not that either.
These students showed, and almost all we've visited have shown, a pure, unbridled enthusiasm they can't help but shower on us. It's a refreshing enthusiasm, one so rarely experienced as we get older because it has no contingencies—these children and the thousands of others like them all around the country are excited to be alive, they are excited to be exactly where they are, but most importantly, they are just plain excited. How blessed are we, and they, that the schools they attend allow this joy to flow forth.
Every time we walk off the bus to a cheering crowd of students, we get a chance to remember how truly blessed we are. We at ACE truly do have something to be excited about, just like the faculty and staff of all the Catholic schools around the country have something to be excited about—the life-giving, pure and unadulterated joy shown each and every day by the students in Catholic schools.