The new school year has started and it’s a good time to think about two of our community’s most important assets – our children and our schools.
If you are a parent, see to it that your child attends school every day and arrives on time. Research shows that students who have 95 percent or better attendance do much better in school. Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep each night and has breakfast every morning – either at home or at school. Make sure you have contact with your child’s teacher not only at conference times but whenever you have concerns about his or her learning or schoolwork. Check your child’s backpack each day for homework, school notices, teacher notes, etc. Have your child read, or read to your child, depending on their age, at least 20 minutes every day. Instead of asking your child “How was your day?” and getting just an “OK,” try asking it differently. Here are some other things you might try asking:
* What was the best thing that happened at school today?
* Tell me something that made you laugh today.
* Tell me a new word that you heard today.
* Did you help somebody today? How?
* Did somebody help you today? How?
* Tell me one thing that you learned today.
* What made you happy at school today?
* What word did your teacher say most today?
* What do you like to play the most at recess?
* Who in your class makes you laugh?
* What specialist did you see today (art, phy-ed, music etc)?
* If you got to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do?
If you don’t have a child in school, you still are important to our children and our schools. Consider volunteering at your neighborhood school. Many of our children need extra tutoring or a caring adult to mentor them. You’ll likely find that you will get has much out of your volunteering as the children. School resources are tight so think about making a contribution to a school of either money or supplies. Also consider supporting school fundraisers either by buying something students are selling, like cookie dough, or by attending fundraisers like pancake breakfasts. You can also support schools by attending concerts, plays, math competitions, science fairs and art fairs to encourage the students. And don’t forget to attend the games of Henry and North high schools’ sport teams and cheer on our student athletes!
It is an election year – let the candidates at all levels know how important our children and our neighborhood schools are to our community. When candidates are out door knocking or at events, ask them what they plan to do to help our community’s schools.
Last but definitely not least, all of us also need to be mindful of children walking to and from school and on bus stops. While children are told that they should look both ways before crossing streets, not play at the bus stops or run into the street, kids don’t always remember. Please slow down and keep an eye out for our children.
We can all help our community children to be safe, to become lifelong learners and to be the best that they can be!