Parents need businesses to help with education
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