Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lifting Up

I attended a community meeting last Friday night as a part of the collaboration between HCEA (Howard County Education Associations) and PATH (People Acting Together in Howard). Since last Spring, they've been working on a project to get parents together in small group meetings to articulate what they want for children in our community. (Be on the lookout for a meeting in your area.)

This particular meeting was in Oakland Mills. The group contained parents, teens, teachers, and school staff. We each took a turn telling our desires for children in Howard County. It was only natural that most people's answers dwelled quite a bit on their own community--Oakland Mills. As we went around the table, a common theme emerged.

Lifting up. How can we, as a community, lift up our children beyond the current restrictions of "the way things are"?

  • Teaching charity and community involvement
  • Feeding hungry children
  • Nourishing self-esteem
  • Challenging the mind-sets of both the haves and the have-nots
  • Making a rich educational experience our priority over high-stakes testing
  • Celebrating our community
I found it interesting that one of the PATH organizers mentioned having another community discussion in Oakland Mills where some participants were terribly worried about our schools, but the participants who actually had children in the schools loved their schools and were committed to them. This seems to mirror the disconnect I see between some members of our village board who seek to take drastic measures to "reinvent" our village, and members of the community at large, who are actually going about the daily business of raising their families and supporting their schools.

I applaud HCEA and PATH for reaching out to stakeholders to have these discussions. I am looking forward to learning what broader themes emerge as they meet with citizens all over Howard County.

A postscript: Saturday morning I enjoyed the annual Pancake Breakfast at The Other Barn in support of Stevens Forest Nursery School. When I arrived, a celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year was in full swing. I can't think of a better way to show how vibrant a community Oakland Mills truly is.





No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.