Remember how you celebrated your baby's first words? Videotaped their first steps? Or called Grandpa to brag when they learned to ride a bike? Most of us shed a tear or two that first day of kindergarten. We let go a little bit.
But we still need to care -- even more than before. What happens during a child's day at school impacts them for a lifetime. A class with too many students can cause distraction and minimize a student's ability to get individualized help. Children learn at different paces and need instruction at their level, but teachers increasingly have a hard time accomplishing this when classroom helpers and paraprofessional positions have been substantially reduced.
Some students need more time to comprehend a subject -- but when textbooks are in too short of supply to bring one home, the student can't catch up. A child who gets behind learning to read in first grade will most likely have trouble with comprehension skills in fourth grade and may be entirely frustrated by high school.
The unfortunate reality of school funding is that the state is not keeping up. Fixing the broken system will take time. While it is not a long-term solution, the Willmar Public Schools operating levy will give this community the ability to provide our kids the support they need now.
A student's passing grade on a history test may not generate a phone call to Grandma, but it is cause for celebration. It is bringing that child one step closer to a successful future.
I hope that you as parents, grandparents and caring community members will join us in voting yes for our children and their schools on Nov. 2.
Joe and Michele Vogel