Over the past year, I’ve been a member of the Box Tops for Education Blogger Panel. Not only has it been personally fulfilling, but it has also given me the opportunity to help my children’s schools raise money. In addition, I’ve managed to help a couple of local school start their own Box Tops for Education programs.
If you’ve read my blog over the years, you know that I’m passionate about improving educational opportunities for children in this country and I try to learn as much as I can about the topic. A few months ago, I attended a Box Tops for Education Town Hall Meeting in Las Vegas. The panelist included: Natasha Nicholes, Houseful of Nicholes; Tommy Hillman, General Mills Marketing Manager; Dr. Jacquelyn Jackson Fleming, President of LifeLearn Associates; Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas from the R&B/Pop group TLC. The panel was facilitated by Lamar & Ronnie Tyler from Black and Married with Kids.
The panelists delved into serious educational issues such as funding, budget cuts, parental & community involvement, curriculum, and public vs homeschooling. I learned several things and immediately shared my knowledge with the PTO when I returned home.
Here is a short excerpt from the Town Hall Meeting:
During the discussion, Dr. Fleming made three important points that I want to reemphasize.
1. Parents must get involved in their kids’ education early and not only when they get in trouble. Volunteer at the school, help with homework, or read to your kids at night. These simple activities will impact your children’s lives significantly. She also stressed the importance of remaining engaged in your kids’ lives when they are in middle and high school. Some parents have a tendency to pull away when their kids are teenagers, but this is the time when they need you the most.
2. Schools should not have to use money raised from Box Tops for Education or other sources to fund basic items such as books, computers, or curriculum. Parents have to demand that their local legislatures provide the proper funding for these items. Extra money should be used for field trips, extracurricular activities, or supplemental education materials.
2. School fund-raising should be a community effort. It’s easy for us to get caught up in raising money for only our children’s schools, but we must think long-term and help surrounding schools also. If we can improve all of the schools in our neighborhoods, then our communities will be stronger and the quality of education will improve.
Question: What is your biggest concern about your child’s education?