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Support your local school through volunteering

Saturday, January 19, 2013

We're past the halfway point of the school year.

The young people are settled in to the routine of books and classes.

We as parents have also settled in to our routine of preparation, homework, and after school events.

That routine should include a healthy dose of support and volunteerism.

There are many opportunities to show your support for your local learning institution.

At elementary schools, there are projects and performances, competitions and conventions, and parent/teacher organizations. Middle school and high schools beckon with that and more, with athletic events, music and plays.

There are a number of reading programs that rely on adults sharing some precious time with children learning that critical developmental skill.

Helping out with athletic teams, academic challenges, and various extracurricular programs can be rewarding.

It's hard not to find something interesting going on at school. Take your choice of all ages. Each grade has something to offer.

Our schools are always in need of our support. Our children, our teachers and our administrators deserve it.

And that couldn't be truer today as schools everywhere grapple with the effects of state budget crunches.

Parent helpers are needed, for classes and for programs.

But it's more than that.

Something as simple as your attendance means so much to those involved in the learning process. It sends a strong signal that our community believes in its future and that future will be determined by our young people and how we support them.

It's easy to criticize when we don't attend school board meetings, when we don't show up at graduation, or when we don't invest our time in our children.

We can always find something to be negative about, especially if we're not involved. But if we do attend, it becomes very simple to see the positives that are present.

Simply being there can be so important to that child.

In today's society, our teachers are tasked with not only educating our youth in science, mathematics, literature and grammar, but also providing a moral compass of responsibility and guidance.

Having been a substitute teacher for the past year and serving as an assistant high school coach and then as an assistant university coach, I saw first-hand the challenges that are met daily, with enthusiasm and aplomb, by our educators at all levels and at all ages.

Many of us can recall that favorite teacher or faculty member who meant so much in our development, who was there for us with a friendly smile and a warm greeting.

Let's remember those things as we encourage each other to demonstrate support for our students and their mentors and do all we can to build on those positives.

This is the first step in investing in our future.

Contact your local school and ask what you can do.

You'll be glad you did.

Editor's Note: Floyd Jernigan is the publisher of The Fort Scott Tribune.