As the old African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” One could imagine then that it would take a community to raise a school. We can’t rely on local, state, or federal governments to take ownership of the issues we face locally. We need to work as a community to nurture our schools for our particular community needs.
I believe the answer to real education/school transformation is strong, authentic community connections and actions. When families, community groups, businesses and schools band together to support learning, young scholars achieve more in school, stay in school longer, and enjoy the experience more.
Volunteerism is way to engage community members in schools. Community members who choose to volunteer can hail from varied industries and backgrounds. They could visit classes and speak about their profession for Career Day, tutor a student, chaperone a field trip or coach a sports team.
There are other ways to support our schools. Not every organization, business, family or individual in the community has time or capacity for in-person or on-site volunteer opportunities. That’s why it’s important to prioritize community involvement in the form of sponsorship and donation programs. A local restaurant could donate a percentage of their proceeds from one day or they may be willing to sponsor the cost of a field trip. You could also host a party or celebration and invite friends to show their support for MESA.
When schools, parents and community partner together, great things can happen in the lives of students.