The Clock Is Winding Down
Looking at the calendar on the wall next to my computer this morning, it struck me that here we are, almost done with April, Winter has completely ceased to be funny, and the sad fact of it all is this is Prom weekend, re-scheduled from two weeks ago because of a bloomin” Blizzard and 16-18 inches of snow messed up a big night for lots of great kids.
At the risk of drawing the ire of countless prom-goers and their parents, I?have to make a small admission – that’s not really what I’m writing about. Prom weekend ties in with my topic, and that is the fact that in a month’s time, more or less, another school year will be finished, albeit for snow make up days.
When I reflect back on the games and activities and events that I’ve covered, reported on and been involved with at the school, I can remember specific moments from just about every instance. They might be a great play, a comment or just an observation on my part, and that’s strictly objective for me.
But I can identify one common thread running through all these events, games, activities and such and all too often, it gets overlooked.
That common thread is people who turn out to support the team, the participants and the organizers of those events. In most cases, those who turn out are parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and even siblings. But in other cases, it might just be a neighbor or an acquaintance who decides to come out and watch a volleyball game, basketball doubleheader, football game, wrestling meet, Cross Country meet, track meet or golf match.
Or it could be an elementary vocal concert, a band concert, show choir performance, speech showcase or play.
There are other events, Open Houses, Family Nights in our schools, but the commonality of all these events is that people turn out. They come to the school to see what our youth are doing – what they are learning.
For a very long time in our rural landscape, it has been said that when a community loses its school, it looses the heart of the community. Others may argue that a major employer has a much greater impact on a community, and there are good arguments for that statement as well.
But the point I want to make is that with our declining populations, the need for education remains just as important today, if not more so, than it was 25 years ago. The statement has been made that education is Iowa’s most critical economic development asset, and that statement is spot-on.
I guess the message today is simply this: get your money’s worth by attending an event at your local school. It really doesn’t matter what the event is – just go and see what our youth are learning about life through their activities. You may be pleasantly surprised with what you see.