There are a lot of people doing a lot of lobbying at the state capitol in Jackson, Mississippi right now.
Do I personally have a problem with lobbyists? Absolutely not. In my opinion, small businesspeople like myself, manufacturers, school teachers, bankers and everyone else should have someone advocating for their interests whenever laws are being considered that might affect them.
Do I have a problem with lobbyists parading under the thin veil of “education reform” when, in fact, their real agenda is to “promote the free market” by illustrating public education as a “failure”? Do I have a problem with the organized efforts of these “think tanks” in creating a separate and unequal system of pseudo-public education, all under the fictitious guise of “parent choice”?
Yes and yes.
But, I digress…
Today’s post is about recognizing some of the real reformers of public education in Mississippi. Here they are:
This is my friend Stevie Mosley. He is part of a local organization called Men For Change. Every day throughout the school year, Stevie and his volunteers come to this busy intersection at 3:30 to ensure the safety of the students walking home from G.W. Carver Middle School. Imagine a volunteer at every school intersection in the state of Mississippi. Could it happen? That's up to you and me.
The Meridian Rotary Club sends a volunteer to read to the Pre-Kindergarteners of a local Elementary School once a week throughout the school year. The Commission on Reading states that "The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success is reading aloud to children."
If communities ask for change long enough, they eventually get it. The result comes in the form of effective and inclusive Superintendents like MPSD's Alvin Taylor. Dr. Taylor is pictured here at the far left with his Community Advisory Council, which meets on a regular basis.
The good folks of Meridian's Junior Auxilliary have been providing free books to the children of Lauderdale County for almost 40 years. Next Fall they are stepping up their efforts even more by not only providing the books, but by reading the books aloud. If we had volunteers like the members of J.A. in every school in Mississippi, what would the effects be? Real reform, perhaps?
Mrs. Lucille Payne is a Foster Grandparent at a local Elementary School. She is one of the first people to arrive at the school each and every day. She does everything from sweeping to assisting teachers to loving and caring for students.
I'd say this bunch looks pretty happy to have community members in their school. Wouldn't you agree? What are the effects on a community when its kids are happy? Why are you still reading this? Go volunteer at a public school!