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Front Page » August 26, 2003 » Opinion » Letter to the Editor: Back to School
Published 4,933 days ago

Letter to the Editor: Back to School

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It's that time of year again, time to dust off the books, buy new clothes, and head back to school.

Education is the single greatest legacy that we can pass on to our children. A solid educational foundation provides the building blocks for success throughout life, and is the key for future generations in overcoming the problems faced by our society, both today and in the future. Today's children are tomorrow's leaders, and it is important for us, as responsible citizens, to treat them accordingly. It is imperative that they are afforded every opportunity to succeed, opportunities that begin in the classroom.

There is a growing sentiment that the school system is failing.There are a number of suggestions as to how to correct the problems in the educational system. Some say that we need to increase funding of schools in order to pay teachers more or to spend more on school infrastructure or supplies. Others argue that what is needed is a change in curriculum or educational strategy. While each of these points has merit, the solution to our educational crisis lies a little closer to home, actually a lot closer to home: at home.

Decades of research have demonstrated that the single largest factor influencing a child's achievement, both in school and in life, is the family support structure.

It's very easy to sit back and criticize the educational system, to blame the failure of a child on lousy teachers or inadequate facilities. How many parents, though, actually take the time and expend the energy to become an integral part of their child's education?

There are a number of ways that parents can involve themselves in the education of a child. First and foremost, talk to the child. Ask about their day at school, discuss what they learned that day, and go over any homework assigned. Children that understand that their parents care about school will be encouraged to work harder and succeed.

Second, call the school and talk to the teachers directly. Find out what your child is doing in school on a daily basis. If you have the time during the day, volunteer with the school, commit some of your time and energy to helping make the schools a better learning environment.

The bottom line: while the school provies the infrastructure, it is ultimately the responsibility of the parents to raise children. That responsibility carries into the education of children, providing them with the tools and encouragement that they need to succeed.

Commitment to education is a reflection of society's commitment to the future of its children. The lessons that parents send with them to school are every bit as, if not more, important than the lessons they bring home.

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August 26, 2003
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