Investing in the Community Chest
With the coming of the new school year, my family will embrace a few milestones.
My oldest daughter will be a senior at Clinton High School and preparing to embrace the college campus that God will bless her to attend. Our next in line will begin her wonder years at Clinton Middle School. Our third princess will become the big sister at Clinton Elementary, and her little sister will learn what it is like to receive real letter grades (prayerfully all A’s)!
We have been blessed to see both triumphs and failures within the walls of our daughters’ academic arenas. Sometimes those arenas showcase scholarly scuffles in bookworm boxing matches that have us as parents serving as manager and cut man. I know our daughters get upset at our refusal to lower our scholastic standards, so we remind them that the playing field is not level.
Slowly, but surely, their eyes are opening to the cutthroat craftiness of this world, and their prayers seem to petition for their own requests for wisdom and discernment. Gradually, our daughters appear to appreciate the love behind instruction, discipline, and support. And we are seeing the return on our investments.
But as we watch our children grow, we constantly come in contact with young people seeking an encouraging word or that smile of acknowledgment for a job well done. Do we really know all that a child or their family has gone through between afterschool and the start of the next school day? No. So in our back-to-school shopping let us pickup a few new expectations.
Let’s make this next school year greater than before. Let’s, as a community, do what we have to do to positively impact the lives of someone else. Maybe we have “We Read Wednesdays” to read to students as a community. Let’s develop more alternatives to suspension and expulsion.
I will gladly work with administrators to organize community leaders to serve as mediators to deter detrimental behavior. Some of these students are crying out for help, but we just don’t see their tears. Also, let’s help the parents. All of us are under the stresses of life, and we all handle stress differently. Let us continue to support our teachers as they try to manage twenty-five plus personalities, learning styles, and life experiences. Teachers, if you cannot reach or relate to a child or parent, I encourage you to use a life line.
Ask for help, because your influence in a child’s life is powerful. I don’t believe that every child should get a trophy, but I do believe that every child has a gift and a talent. A child does not have to be labeled gifted and talented to display promising potential.
Let’s invest in the community chest…the minds, hearts, and souls of our young future, because the return on the investments will be limitless.