Yesterday evening I experienced something that has caused me to think a little and I'd like to share my thoughts and then have you respond with any and all ideas that come to you while you read this post.
Deb works at one of the local grade schools. She has made friends with a number of the children and sometimes will come home with the announcement that we should go to a play, or a music program, or a science fair to show support for these kids.
Last night we went to the science fair. Children from all over the district gathered with their cardboard displays to show off their talents as budding young scientists. It was fun to see a number of the same old projects being done back in my day and to see a number of genuinely creative experiments.
It was really easy to spot the displays that probably had a lot of parent involvement and represented a higher socioeconomic status. They were crisp. The written portions exhibited good grammar and clarity of thought. Most of the experiment titles were very clever.
Then there were the displays done by children who likely had little, if any, parental assistance. They were poorly organized, sparing in details, and often indicated that English was the students' second language.
When it came to the awards ceremony, I watched as at least two prizes went to children whose fathers are university professors; I know because I know their fathers. I'm not saying that their fathers did the work for them, so I'm not crying foul play. I'm talking about a much bigger problem.
I left the science fair grateful that Deb and I both have college degrees. We'll likely give our children better educational guidance than we would otherwise have been able to.
But parents without much education, or parents who don't speak English, or parents who don't take an active role or interest in their kids' schooling will many times watch as kids from better educated, more affluent families take home the prizes from the science fairs.
Here are the questions I'd like us to discuss:
How do we level this playing field?
How do we diminish or eliminate this disparity?
What can we do to help others help themselves and their own families?
What did your parents do well to help you on your way to educational and eventual career success?
I'll start our discussion by posting the first comment. Please, I'd like your feedback.