Support students this year

Published 5:22 pm Wednesday, August 4, 2010

You’ll be hearing and seeing the reminders over the next few weeks: school is back in session. Here in Butler County, our public schools begin classes August 5, while Fort Dale Academy students return on August 19.

Yearly, the call goes out to motorists to keep an eye out for the children as they journey to and from school. And we want to encourage you to do the same.

But the county’s students need far more than just a watchful eye on the roadways.

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They need our support in big and small ways.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you have children or grandchildren attending one of these schools. If you live, work, play and/or worship in this county, then our county’s students also “belong” to you.

It may be a cliché to say, “our children are our future,” but there is a foundation of truth in many a well-worn phrase.

Who will one day be running our businesses, serving as our civic leaders, patrolling our streets, teaching future generations, and caring for patients in our hospitals and nursing homes? That’s right, the youngsters and teens that will soon be in classrooms across the county.

If they don’t manage to get a decent education, learning the fundamentals of reading, writing and mathematics; if they fail to develop critical thinking skills, foster their creativity and how to truly absorb instruction and grasp concepts, rather than “learning just for the test,” then the future prospects for our community and our county are pretty dim. The payoff of good educational opportunities for all, benefits us all.

Strong school systems are one of the things industries look at when they consider locating in an area. And more business and industry means more jobs, and a more prosperous local economy.

Kids who drop out of school are much more likely to get involved in criminal activities and to end up spending time behind bars at taxpayers’ expense.

So, while you are out there watching for youngsters on the highways and byways, remember this: the school supplies you donate, the mentoring you give a child, the books you read aloud in a classroom, the fundraising activities you support all make a positive difference in the lives of our children.

Not just our friends’ and neighbors’ and relatives’ children, our children.

Our future.