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Re: FW: Education - Math & Science Appropriations II

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I helped start and now work with Scholars' Club, our local Homework Help and
Tutoring Program in a neighborhood with kids whose parents have more than
they can do to get enough food on the table.  For those parents, a job [any
kind] for the boys and a husband for the girls are their number-one long
term priorities for their kids.  Christopher Wright's observation on the
importance of parents in the education process certainly seems to be
supported by these families.  No one at home is telling these kids that an
education is important, and even less, helping them with their studies.  So
these kids could care less about school and are just a few years from that
Senior Prom lifetime peak experience -- if they make it that far.

Some of the kids I've worked with have turned into really encouraging
success stories -- others just don't catch the vision of the joy of
learning.  But, I've got to humbly and disappointedly report that even the
two real stars among my success stories are still struggling with math.

I started out intending to work with junior high and senior high kids.  I
was sad to discover that that's too late.  The fascination with learning and
the habits of learning need to start early in life.  It seems that by 12 or
13, the values and habits needed to be a learner are either already attained
or they are out of reach.

There has to be a way to rescue some of these kids and keep them from taking
a nose dive into life.  I see Bill's point that education should not be a
federal responsibility, and is, instead, a local responsibility.  However,
an under-educated populace is probably going to develop into a national
crisis that will need some sort of federal attention one day.   I want to
encourage you to look for opportunity to get into a long-term helping
relationship with a kid in need of school help and encouragement, and give
some of you time.  It only helps one kid at a time but if many were to do
it, it might be more effective than getting Congress to throw everybody
else's tax money at the problem.

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer
South San Gabriel, CA

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