Par­ents need busi­nesses to help with ed­u­ca­tion

McDonald County Press - - COUNTY -

Dear em­ploy­ers in McDon­ald County,

I want to ex­press my thank­ful­ness for your sup­port of the lo­cal schools. I see more each year how the busi­ness and em­ploy­ers of McDon­ald County sup­port our school district and its in­di­vid­ual schools, some­times di­rectly with money, some­times with gifts of their ser­vices and sup­plies. It is won­der­ful if you have put your money where your mouth is and help our com­mu­nity.

Do you know that there are mul­ti­ple stud­ies which re­peat­edly show that fam­ily in­volve­ment with school chil­dren has great and lon­glast­ing pos­i­tive in­flu­ence? This is true, re­gard­less of the home in­come level or ed­u­ca­tional back­ground. It has a greater ef­fect than bet­ter school build­ings and re­sources. One of my own chil­dren is in kinder­garten this year. Her teacher is a new teacher, with the en­ergy that gives, and has in­vited all the par­ents and grand­par­ents to sign up so that there can be a weekly spe­cial guest in the class­room who turns out to be in a stu­dent’s fam­ily.

I love this idea. I have fond mem­o­ries in my own el­e­men­tary school of one very en­er­getic teacher who had par­ents come in. A mom taught how to make tor­tillas and we ate sam­ples. A dad came in to give point­ers on paint­ing. My mom taught us how to make bread. Some­one helped us make clam chow­der. It was a great year.

With those fond mem­o­ries, I looked at my teacher’s note again and my heart fell. I thought of the in­flex­i­bil­ity in­her­ent in shift work and the lo­gis­tics of com­mutes and car pools in­her­ent in ru­ral liv­ing and re­al­ized that few par­ents in this area will be free to par­tic­i­pate — not only in this teacher’s project but at most other vol­un­teer­ing needs in our schools.

I ask the em­ploy­ers in McDon­ald County, and ev­ery­where ac­tu­ally, do you want to have a big­ger ef­fect on your peo­ple’s lives, in the learn­ing of our chil­dren? Do you want to do it de­spite not be­ing able to give ex­tra fi­nan­cial back­ing? Then please find ways to al­low par­ents time to be with their chil­dren at school.

I don’t know what it’ll be. I am con­fi­dent that if you re­ally look at your or­ga­ni­za­tion and peo­ple, that you’ll be able to find a way.

Thank you for your time and at­ten­tion. Han­nah Bartholomew

Noel, Mo.

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