KEVIN SPROUL: THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION
August 27—A new school year begins. For educators, it’s an opportunity to set the tone for the entire year. For parents, it’s an opportunity to show your commitment to your child’s education. For students, it is an opportunity for a new start. This is basic time.
I know that schools offer more than “book learning”. Over the years of providing character education programs in our school system, there have been many opportunities to connect with young people in ways that seem to have a real impact. They tell us that our exchange had a positive impact on their lives. Schools provide the context in which those kinds of interactions can occur. Ask any successful person and they may tell you about a teacher, coach, or someone involved in their education.
Over the years, the Doherty County school system has received much public criticism, but the school is home to caring, dedicated professionals who truly care about the best interests of their children. My wife is a full-time educator in the Doherty County school system and often shares with me stories about the children who have become a part of her life. I know the grief when one of her children becomes mine. That is, when a school-age child commits a crime and is taken into custody.
Fortunately, that is rarely the case. Of the juveniles who enter prison, the majority are dropouts. In fact, most inmates in prison have never earned a high school diploma. Keeping children in school seems to be one of the best ways to keep them from breaking the law, both in school and in adulthood. In fact, a UCLA study titled “The Impact of Education on Crime” found that “a 1% increase in high school graduation rates for all men ages 20 to 60 could save the United States as much as $1.4 billion a year.” It is concluded. It reduces the cost of crime to victims and society as a whole.”
I challenge all educators to help create an environment that is healthy, productive, conducive to learning and enjoyable enough to motivate students to stay in school. It calls on parents to take an active role in their children’s education. Engaging and supporting children and their teachers. I also encourage my students to take their education seriously. Obtaining a high school diploma is one of the most important factors in determining a person’s future standard of living.
For my part, I run a GED program in prison and work with local charities to fund exam costs to help anyone who wants to improve themselves and earn a high school diploma. I will continue to work with those who care for me.I will also continue to offer character education programs in local schools.
Educating our children is the vehicle that allows us to come together and work towards a common goal. Together, we can help make this community better.