Sunday, October 12, 2014

No. 85 – February 20, 2014 - What Our Children Are Learning

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

The best indicator for future success is how early you have your first job. Early experience builds character.

Ask Billionaire Richard Branson, who invented his first job with a friend when he was 11. The two boys bred parakeets and grew Christmas trees. Branson says he these weren't entirely successful, but he learned to persist.

Oil magnate T. Boone Pickens credits his first job delivering papers at age 12 with having taught him success as he expanded his territory.

Today America's children are losing these traditional avenues for learning along with others which good values once supported.

When Rex Dickey, Senior was growing up with his eleven siblings in Tonawanda, NY kids worked. Rex was expected to do chores around the house, do his school work, and respect his elders, solid values to build character.

When Rex was twelve he began his first paper route, like T. Pickens, finishing before school in the morning. His older brothers also had routes. Rex's Mom delivered papers to the delivery boys in the family van. Rex and his siblings were in the back, allotting papers to ensure each boy had enough for their route.

By example, families taught self-discipline, determination, and willingness to work early.

Public education offered other avenues as well.

Sports scholarships allowed kids who otherwise would be unable to attend college to do so. These scholarships meant deferring fun to practice and hit the books, transforming the lives of children who set their eyes on a goal years in the future.

Rex Dickey asks why these avenues to success are being denied to his, and other children, in Ashtabula. In Ashtabula kids now must pay $250 to participate in sports programs, slamming another door on the future.

Ashtabula's High school was moved to the Township, forcing kids to take buses. Was a cost analysis or population impact study done? One has to wonder, along with who deemed this necessary.

Then, over a year ago bus service was eliminated, leaving families scrambling to ensure their kids had transportation. Families, hit economically from all directions, are leaving Ashtabula. Too many absences caused by the lack of transportation began hitting parents who found themselves in court facing the choice of school or keeping their jobs.

Are families being punished for saying NO to increasing taxes used for new schools which do not serve as well?

Consider the issue of values, here, in Ashtabula.

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