Saturday, November 29, 2008
I was excited to help in my granddaughter's first grade class recently. She has a great teacher, but I still thought about telling her to go home and let me take over. I do miss the daily interaction with young children. I really wished I lived closer because one particular boy instantly bonded to me. When I found out he was a struggling reader, I really wanted to be there every day to help.
My granddaughter, along with her sister and brother came to stay for the weekend. I was cooking an early Thanksgiving for my family and the kids stayed at my house to 'help.' After two days of cooking we sat down last Sunday to the feast. My granddaughter wasn't impressed by all the fancy dishes, but she was happy because at least, there were mashed potatoes. Like playing with the gift box at Christmas, sometimes the simpler things are better.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Based on recent comments, know that nothing brings out the passion in people like politics (and religion). It would be nice if everyone would take all of their passion for such topics and aim it toward improving things that will really improve the life of citizens. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I am hopeful that the new administration will hold to their commitment to early childhood. I worry because there are some serious situations right now, like the economic situation and the war in Iraq, that will take a lot of time. My hope, however, as I stated last time, is that our local governing bodies can work together to make sure our children are taken care of and nourished. Research says that $1 spent on quality early childhood programs would eventually save the taxpayers $14. We just must make the initial investment.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
We are in such a shaky economic time right now that I worry about the effects it will have on educational funding. Almost 50% of funding for education comes from state money (the rest comes from local taxes and a small amount from the federal government). I knew funding was always a critical issue when our state legislature meets each year, but I didn't realize how much of the pie they must provide. With our current financial crisis I worry what will happen during this year's legislative sessions. Unfortunately, in years past, some of our lawmakers have spent an incredible amount of time debating moral message laws or other non-essential topics (example: Should we really have seat belt laws? What if we have too many children to fit in a car? etc.). Meanwhile, we have children without health care, single mothers without child care assistance and the lowest per-pupil expenditure in the nation. It is my hope in this coming financially-tight year, our lawmakers can concentrate on the humane and important issues. I'm worried because recently a lawmaker expressed concern that we are adding a new area code to Utah. Everyone will now need to dial all 10 digits of make a call. He wants to introduce a bill so that people won't be inconvenienced by needing to dial 10 digits. Please...
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Like many Americans, I had a hard time sleeping last night after hearing President-elect Obama's acceptance speech. His speech was filled with a challenge for future healing and a hope that America can get back on track as a land of promise. I felt the promise that we can make our country an even better place for our future generations. It is my hope that we can stop bickering about who can or cannot have basic civil rights. Instead, I think we should concentrate our efforts on making sure our children are fed, clothed, have basic health care and a quality educational system that provides the nourishment for being responsible and productive citizens. I'm encouraged that in many speeches Mr. Obama frequently stated that it is critical to have quality early childhood programs. I am currently in Dallas at the NAEYC National Conference. Thousands of early childhood educators are here for that very reason: to provide quality early childhood progams for children.
Yes, I didn't sleep much after that speech. It was historical in many ways and one that I hope will help the country rise to the occasion. We certainly need to do so for our children and grandchildren. I want the world to be an even better place for the generations of the future.