It seems fitting that our first blog entry coincides with the start of the school year. It’s late August 2018, and if school hasn’t begun in your community, it soon will.
In our blog, you’ll hear from a variety of writers…staff members, board members, stakeholders, community members, and others. We’ll cover a lot of topics, and we’ll raise a lot of questions. We’ll seek responses, too. None of us possesses all the knowledge we need or want, so seeking wisdom and evidence and best practices from the largest community possible just makes sense. As our blog goes on, we’ll talk about the issues facing our children and teens, the issues facing families in poverty, how Communities In Schools of Mid-America can help with those issues, which intervention models demonstrate meaningful evidence, and much more. There’s a lot to talk and think about. So let’s get started…
We’re living in the midst of tremendous dichotomies, and it is vitally important that we be able to hold contradicting truths simultaneously. What do I mean by contradicting truths?
- The historically important American guarantee of a quality, free education is accessible to some and inaccessible to others.
- Many kids are learning to love learning, and many of their classmates have given up on school and learning as early as their elementary years.
- The academically successful sixth-grader sits in class next to a trafficked, hungry sixth-grader.
- Valedictorians and dropouts emerge from the very same schools.
- Valedictorians and dropouts emerge from the very same families.
Sadly, every one of us can add to that list.
Today, given what we already know is happening with, to, and around our young people, I want to issue a single, simple call to action: Do something to support your local schools.
- Talk to the neighbor who’s a teacher, ask what $20 would best support for his or her classroom (I’m willing to bet basic supplies will be the answer), and go buy those supplies. Or donate directly to a local school supplies drive.
- Volunteer. It’s easy. They’ll have something. Call the school, tell them you want to volunteer at the school, and they can get you going. If not, call your United Way, which typically works with the school system, or your local education foundation, or a non-profit that works with schools such as Communities In Schools or Boys and Girls Clubs.
- Make a donation to your local schools foundation or one of the non-profits working with schools. Make it a good one, in whatever way “good” is for you.
- Attend the local school board meetings; learn, and speak up when it’s important to you.
- Run for the school board. If that’s not right for you, campaign for a school board candidate you think would do a great job.
Thanks for joining us for our first blog post. Come back; we’ll be posting regularly. And let us hear from you. If we’ve ever had a need for collective wisdom, it’s now.
Malissa Martin, President and CEO
Communities In Schools of Mid-America