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Help for our children

POSTED May 11, 2018 12:58 p.m.

School is almost out for the year.
Summer recess used to be a magical time for grade school kids. But these days, we hear depressing news from schools throughout the nation. The dismissal of school for the summer can be a desperate time for some kids.
During the school year, the schools provide needed comforts for these kids.
A significant number of children arrive without proper clothing; some of the clothing is dirty. Schools are now equipped with washers and dryers to take care of the various accidents, inappropriate clothing, dirty clothing.
Some come to school hungry. School breakfasts and lunches are vital for these children. Some kids come to school tired. One child told about not having a bed.
Some sleep in chairs, or wherever there is a spot in the house. And often, because of chaotic conditions at home, they don’t get the sleep they need.
It hasn’t always been this serious.
When our kids were little in the early 70’s, we were aware that people were poor, and every child didn’t have essentials for school. Some kids were in need of school lunches, and some didn’t have the best clothes, but the clothes were clean and the kids were happy. There were problems, but the situations were not multiplied like today.
Today’s grade school teachers are teaching effectively and creatively. They are probably the most motivated, informed, and hard working of any generation since the beginning. These youngsters are doing projects that our kids didn’t even attempt until middle school. And, in addition, the teachers have taken on and dedicated their classroom time to much more than teaching.
Many dip into their own finances to provide items for kids. They are there to replace clothing that is unsuitable, and send food home with these kids. The school, in addition, employs professional staff to give individual help for those who need to catch up to help them achieve.
What is going on?
When teachers lament that the problems are too much to handle today and consider retirement because of it, it is a catastrophe. They are worn out. These good, dedicated teachers are taking the responsibility (by default) for being teacher, mother, caregiver, counselor, and much more. And why are these problems erupting throughout the nation?
And why is our society unraveling in so many areas?
First of all, it is God who holds all things together. Deny him, kick him out, consider Him a fairy tale ... doesn’t matter. He’s not moved by the opinions of some. He still exists and He still is God.
However, He has been eliminated and shut out from the classroom. Kids don’t get to hear about him in a normal everyday fashion. Kids don’t get to know that there is a purpose and plan for their lives; and that there is one who cares for them more than any human being, and loves each one.
I’m not saying that school should take the place of church. No way. But, the casual singing of patriotic songs, the reference to God as a reality, the openness to refer to Him respectfully, often and when necessary ... that’s all I am saying.
So, kick God out... We reap the consequences.
Secondly, the parents of these distressed kids today don’t have the necessary skills to know what to do. They didn’t have this good start either. They responded in like to the media and influences around them in the world market; disrespect of most everything in television and movies, crime, sex, violence, horror, filth, swearing, anger, and so much more.
Many never learned to cook.
And some parents didn’t complete the 12 years of school.
And some have drug problems.
And others don’t have jobs.
These parents are raising kids, and have their own monumental problems to deal with.
We complain about the situations that are developing in the schools and we don’t know what to do. But you see, it is our problem. And complaining isn’t going to do much to help the situation. It’s easy to complain and say, “What is this world coming to” while children are experiencing unspeakable hardships in their environments
We need to do something, but we feel inadequate.
The truth is, we are most adequate.
We could teach cooking skills. If drugs are involved, then maybe we can’t teach the parents. But we could teach the kids?
We can get involved in the Big Sister/Big Brother program. If each of us would take on one child, or one needy person to share in our lives, the results would be unbelievable.
We could volunteer at the schools; call and offer to read to a child, help with any needs that the school might be able to use. We could give some money to the teachers to buy needed supplies. We could contribute to food for the back packs that go home with kids during the year.
We can and must reach out somehow in love and concern for these kids. Maybe we can begin during this summer break.
Thank you, those of you who have lunch programs going in the summer. You know who you are and we see it and acknowledge your generous efforts.
We can and must reach out somehow in love and concern for these kids. Maybe we can begin during this summer break.
It’s not really a big chunk to bite off ... just a few hours a week; but it may be just what is needed to guide some kid to a productive life.
Can we work on this together?

Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at bluegrasses@gmail.com. Visit her website juditabler.com.

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