Herald Journal Columns
May 8, 2006, Herald Journal

Take a moment to inspire a child


Within the last few months, I have been to school building bond meetings and operating levy meetings, parent/teacher advisory meetings, school board meetings, and a kindergarten option meeting. I’ve had good healthy discussions with many people about many diverse school issues.

Lots of people, have lots of different opinions, on lots of school issues, and most everyone’s intention is to do what they feel best for hopefully all children. What one group thinks is best, may not be what another group thinks is best, and thus the differing opinions.

It is important, that we all take a vested interest in some format in our children’s future, including their educational future. And we all need to remember, that if people truly have the best interests of children at the heart of their opinions, and actions, then we do need to respect each other. I think many, and hopefully most people, want what is best for their children, but it may not be in perfect agreement with what someone else thinks.

Public schools are meant to be entities to serve all children, regardless of their cognitive or learning ability, athletic, or fine arts ability, or their family’s income level, and socioeconomic status.

Schools hold a promise for all children, to prepare them for the future, and to prepare them to be contributing members of society, in whatever capacity their abilities and interests lie. And these children will be the adults serving us (since we are the older generation), so we should all have a vested interest.

Those very reasons are why I chose to work and thrive in the field of education, why I choose to volunteer and work with children of all ages, in different activities, and why I write this column. I do care about children.

There are children living in not the most ideal situations, which they did not choose to be in, but which were dealt to them.

And we, as adults, can help keep them traveling on paths with bright futures, and help “our” children to be happy, contributing members of society. That is a child’s right – no matter what situation they may live in.

It is so true. If we all help but one child, we have made a difference. And we can all go to bed each night feeling that we have done something beneficial and worthwhile for the world in which we live.

I encourage everyone to take a vested interest in “our” children’s future, and to make a positive difference in a child’s life.

I appreciate everyone out there that has chosen a career affecting children in some way, and everyone out there that volunteers their time to provide opportunities for children to grow, nurture, and benefit from. Whether that be helping in school, organizing, or coaching a girl scout or boy scout troop, being a mentor, or helping out your neighbor’s children – it does make a difference.

My own children most certainly have benefited from the involvement of other adults in their lives, leading and teaching them.

And if you ever get a one–time moment, or a situation where you can lend a hand, or teach, lead, or mentor a child, it is so worthwhile, and it will be a moment, or a situation that will have more than just a moment’s effect, but possibly a lifetime’s result that may encourage a child to choose a positive path – or it may have been a “moment” that really made a difference, or encouraged a child in a positive manner.

We must all remember that when we interact with a child we are helping them “see” the world, and we want children to “see” the world, through rosy glasses, and at least help give each child we come in contact with a moment or moments that are rosy-colored and full of sunshine.

I think I am always lucky when I get an opportunity to be around our little citizens of this world, because they are always so “present” in the moment and ready to take on the world, and learn something new. If I get to be the one at that time, or situation to lead them on yet another path of learning a skill, or if I get to be the instigator of some plain old fun, I will definitely be the beneficiary. There ain’t nothin’ better than learning from a child!

So, again, if you get a chance to help out in some way, where children are involved, hop on board, and you won’t be sorry, you will learn something, I am sure, from the smallest teachers we have.

Also take a moment to express your appreciation to all those wonderful people out there, that have given of their time to teach, or lead your children in some way. A word of appreciation goes along way to “big” people, too!

All children out there need us. In fact, they count on us (when they don’t even know it), to “learn the ropes” of the world, and travel on paths that are bright. They deserve it.

Teach Children to Save Day

National Teach Children to Save Day was April 26. FamilyFun magazine suggests that we use this annual event to help educate our child on the importance of saving. Possibly open up a banking account in your child’s name and challenge her/him to meet a monthly savings goal.