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Education Celebrations: Parents are important partners in education

By By Diane Boyett
April 6, 2014 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated April 6, 2014 at 11:07 p.m.


We finished the first week of the major standardized testing season last week. The next major testing period comes up the week of April 21.

We extend our sincere thanks to all the parents who made certain their children got to bed on time and got to school on time ready to take on the STAAR tests.

There is no question that the testing periods are stressful for staff and students and having parental support is a major help.

When we celebrate the successes of students, we are also celebrating the successes of our families and our staff members. It truly does take a village to raise a child.

Most of our parents work very hard to support their children in their school work. They want their children to be successful and have all the opportunities that life can offer. They also recognize the value of education in making those opportunities possible.

One group of people who are keenly aware of the value of education is that group of people who were unable to capitalize on education offerings. Some of our parents missed out on high school. Many are struggling with learning English. They know the key to getting ahead is found in their own hard work and in learning everything they can.

That's where the organization that will be honored this month by the board of trustees with the You Make a Difference Award comes in to play.

This year, the Victoria Adult Literacy Council teamed up with F.W. Gross Elementary School to offer parents an opportunity to improve their language skills and earn their GEDs. This wonderful partnership has opened the door for parents to go to classes close to home in the evenings. Parents interested in joining the classes are welcome to call Rita Victory at F.W. Gross at 361-788-9500 for more information. The Victoria Adult Literacy Council also provides family literacy activities for parents and their children. The council is working to make life better for families.

The organization bills itself as being about second chances, but it is much more than that. The work the Victoria Adult Literacy Council staff and volunteers are doing helps adults learn the skills needed to break out of the confines of not being able to read or to communicate in English.

There is a poem written by Strickland Gillilan that gives a poignant look at the wonders and magic that can be attained when literacy becomes a family matter: "You may have tangible wealth untold; caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be. I had a mother who read to me."

A child's first teacher is the parent. When the parent spends quality time with the child from the earliest years, vocabulary grows, and children prepare for the next steps in the development: school.

But the parent who cannot read to and with a child can provide an exceptional gift as well. Showing the child that the desire to learn is powerful enough that they, too, are "going to school" is a priceless gift, as well.

We appreciate the efforts of the Victoria Adult Literacy Council in making that gift possible. The board will present the You Make a Difference Award to the council at its April 17 meeting. You are welcome to come and applaud their efforts, as well.

Diane Boyett is the communications director for Victoria school district. Contact her at diane.boyett@visd.net.

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