It matters to me, you and you and you…
Months tend to have themes these days: February is Hearth Health Month, March is Womens History Month and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It could be said that here in Truckee-Tahoe, May was Education Month. During the month of May, 11 public forums were held at schools in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee. The forums are the basis of the Education Matters project. The project is a collaboration between the Excellence in Education Foundation, the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation, the Lahontan Community Foundation and Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. The goal of the project through the forums is to identify in a public process the top-level priorities for creating the best public education system in California right here in our own district. A lofty goal, yes, but one well worth pursuing. More than 500 parents, teachers and community members attended the individual forums. Thats an impressive showing. The outcome of each forum were five priorities that answered the question, What are the most important elements of a quality education?As a parent of a child who will enter the Tahoe-Truckee school system this fall and an Excellence in Education board member, my interest in a quality education system is very high. When the idea of the Education Matters project was floated, I was personally struck by the fact that we have a district and communities in which this type of project would be supported, participated in and then acted on. That is extremely unique. My personal belief is that the key to building great communities begins with our schools, our children and our teachers. Our dedication to them is essential. Through the Education Matters process identifying goals and priorities is the first step. It is a powerful step toward ensuring the strength of our local communities through the strength of our schools. If you were at one of the forums then you experienced the energy and passion around the discussion of quality education. If you havent made it to a forum yet, please plan to attend the Town Hall Meeting for Education Matters on Monday, June 5, 6-8 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe in Kings Beach.At this meeting, the outcomes of each of the forums will be revealed and the top priorities discussed. You will be asked to help define what it will take to accomplish the goals now identified. You will be caught up in the potential outcome for our local education system. Wrap your mind around the what if. What if we offered diverse curriculum and delivered it in various ways; what if we adopted the concept of whole-child education from kindergarten through 12th grade and ensured real life learning, robust vocational ed and college prep opportunities along with supporting, valuing and training our teachers. What if we connected our schools more closely with the communities, community businesses, leaders, experiences and cultures. Wed build not only better schools and better students but better citizens. Come Monday night, you will see the power of communities working together to build this vision and youll be part of making it a happen. Education matters. It matters to me, to you, to our kids and to our communities. Jody Poe is publisher of the Sierra Sun.
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