April 2015 Column

  “Education in its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills, values, beliefs and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through storytelling, discussion, teaching, training or research.”

  All too often we think of education as the process students are exposed to in the classrooms of a school building. Students attain information through various methods during their young lives. This is why parental support is so critical to the knowledge base of any child’s learning. Parents who engage their children during the summer months expand their awareness.  It is impossible to explain the vastness of the ocean from a book.  Walking the streets of Boston makes American history come to life. It’s also important for children to see parents as lifelong learners. It can be as easy as having a meal with your child. As the educational level of adults improve, so does their children’s success in school. Children who eat main meals with their parents have significant reading performance gains over their peers.

 In addition to spending quality time with your children, it’s also important to teach them responsibility. At the younger ages, it’s the parents’ job to insure that their children are attending school and arrive on time. It’s hard to believe, but one in ten kindergarten students misses nearly a month of school every year.

I n addition, children who stop reading during the summer months can lose one to two months of reading achievement. For that reason, Hobbs Municipal Schools has taken steps to increase summer educational opportunities.  Nearly ten percent of our student population (900 students) participated in some form of summer learning last year. Please check with your elementary school to find out about the opportunities available this summer – opportunities which can be remedial or enrichment.  In addition to academic programs at our own elementary schools, HMS - through a partnership with the J.F Maddox Foundation - offers elementary school girls the opportunity to participate in a summer Science Camp at Texas Tech University.

  Finally, Hobbs Municipal Schools will emphasize Early Literacy in the coming years to ensure success among our students.  Our secondary schools spend large amounts of time and energy on remediation. It is apparent these deficiencies could be curtailed if greater attention were attributed to the students in kindergarten through third grade. The Annie E. Casey Foundation states “one in six children who are not reading proficiently in third grade do not graduate from high school on time.”

  In order to close any achievement gap, we must improve the reading proficiency of our young children.  Eighty percent of what children learn occurs through reading. Children MUST be able to read to succeed! Reading impacts everyone.  A 1% rise in literacy scores leads to a 2.5% rise in the labor productivity and a 1.5% rise in the GDP.  Get involved in a child’s life and help them succeed. 
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