Monday, December 4, 2023

Martirano Monday


If there were such a thing as Spirit Week on Village Green/Town², today would be Martirano Monday.

Why? Socks.

This story from Columbia Patch caught my eye: 

Martirano Super Sock Drive Leaves Legacy, Helps Families In Howard County, Kristin Danley-Greiner, Columbia Patch

HCPSS Superintendent Michael J. Martirano has launched the Martirano Super Sock Drive as his legacy and way to help families in Howard County. 

Awww…this is sweet. We all know that Dr. Martirano loves his socks: fancy, wacky, color-coordinated, possibly even organized by themes. Here’s a picture from a school visit in 2017.

Sporting crazy socks at EMMS today in honor of Dr. Martirano's visit! 

After a bit of digging around I found this page on the Bright Minds website.

Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) Superintendent Michael J. Martirano and Bright Minds Foundation invite you to join us in getting socks to Howard County children and families in need.

Socks are a crucial piece of clothing for children and families in need. They can serve as essential items to help children and families stay engaged in schools, jobs, and our community. They can also risk contributing to social shame, embarrassment, and isolation. They are the single most requested, but least donated item at homeless shelters. Socks are that important.

The Martirano Super Sock Drive will collect new socks and monetary donations and work alongside HCPSS staff and community organizations to distribute the socks to those who need them. Dr. Martirano, whose name has become synonymous with his often-flashy socks, wanted to launch this effort to help students receive this essential item needed to thrive in and out of the classroom. Dr. Martirano donated $4,000 to launch the campaign after recently receiving the prestigious Tom Cookerly Exceptional School Superintendent Leadership Award from the National Center for Children and Families. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Thank you for your support for Howard County children and families! 

This initiative was announced on Tuesday, November 7th, at a Breakfast With The Superintendent event hosted by the Bright Minds Foundation. According to this description, Dr. Martirano kicked off the Super Sock Drive with a donation of $4,000, the result of his winning the Tom Cookerly Exceptional School Superintendent Leadership Award from the National Center for Children and Families.  

The project was originally announced as a collaboration between Martirano and the Bright Minds Foundation. Now that the Superintendent has announced his retirement, the sock drive is being framed as a way to honor his legacy in the county schools. This suggests to me that in November 7th Dr. Martirano may not have had a January, 2024 retirement date on his schedule. Obviously, just ten days later, on November 17th, he did.

Conversely, perhaps he did and thought that a charitable drive intended to reach children in need would be a lovely way to go out. I am not an investigative reporter and I have no way of knowing. You may have your own theories and I trust that you will discuss them amongst yourselves.

This leaves the Bright Minds Foundation with the responsibility for making this thing happen. I suspect I will always think of them fondly as the Bright Minds, Warm Feet people. 

Whether you’re a fan of Dr. Martirano or no, the fact is that kids do need socks. Donations of socks or the money to purchase them will not go amiss. If you’d like to make a monetary donation, you can do so here. I think that involving children in helping to purchase and donate actual socks could be both fun and meaningful, so, when I see any information about that, I will let you know. 

On a personal note, seeing the words “Super Socks” brought back memories of my years teaching music and movement in the RECC program of HCPSS. Each week we would sing about a different letter of the alphabet. Ms. S had Super Socks.

Ms. S from the Letter People

With my Super Socks I laugh my fears away. With my Super Socks I’m feeling okay.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could give all that to our kids in just a pair of socks?

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