Maybe because I am getting older and don't see as well, maybe I don't hear as well either. Something in the news recently made me question priorities for the education of the individual child and particular emphasis on the inner city child. A recent news item described a gathering of the students at Orchard Knob Middle and a bevy of speakers, cheerleaders really, urging the children that their destiny belongs to them. If the rhetoric could be bottled and sold in mason jars the contents inside would show an empty jar. Lots of time, lots of money and lots and lots of laudable talk to children, usually older, to just pull your britches up and "do it!" The problem is that children and families that have lived in generational poverty have no such illusions of great opportunity if only. What is really needed is the recognition that the bounty of educational progress begins not at age 13 but age three.
I like the word bounty cause it is so applicable to the program of one that includes family and extended portions therein; the community and the big player, the school system.. Why not have an early education program similar but expanded as is the Baby University begun by our mayor, Mayor Berke? Why not include all members of the baby's family - mom, baby and a program that supports the new mom. Why not a program that teaches family members not to ignore the newborn, but learn how to enrich the growing brain of that bundle of energy and brain power. Chattanooga city leaders have the vision and the school system will have to catch up.
The foundations in Chattanooga could be better served with their precious dollars contributing to not a pep rally for 13-year-olds, but a supportive community helping a new mom, family and to help us enrich the communities of the poor?