As a volunteer in numerous classrooms in Clover Park schools over the past ten years, I believe there is both work needed and blame enough to go around. But I have also observed a lot of great teaching, an attention to discipline, and many great kids working very hard.
I‚Äôd rather help kids than blame parents, teachers, principals, administrators, the board or the superintendent selection process, even though I‚Äôve seen excellent and average in all categories.
Poverty is the single biggest predictor of school failure, low birth weight, teen pregnancy and many other societal ills. Numerous Lakewood children (63% of students) in poverty, without a single book in the home and with one or both parents absent, abusive or on drugs. In many district schools, over 90% of students live in poverty.
This and other issues that affect school performance begin in the home and the community, not in the classroom. Blaming people will change nothing. Becoming involved with the children of Lakewood can change everything. Care enough about our schools to get involved, directly involved with the children!
Become a tutor or mentor at school. Get to know kids in your neighborhood. Volunteer after-school with Communities in Schools; at the YMCA; Boys and Girls Club; a church youth group; or a community sports, dance, drama or activity group.
As Bill Cosby said here in Lakewood last November, ‚ÄúCome on, people!‚Äù Put down the signs, the golf clubs, the deck of cards, the gardening tools, even your own book and refreshing drink, and take up a kids‚Äô book to read with a child at school. And Clover Park School District, get organized to use the community effectively in every school! Together we–but only we and only together– can make a difference for kids.
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