We began sharing our thoughts with you in an effort to "raise the volume" on critical issues even when immediate or easy solutions were not apparent. Kicking things into gear (i.e. ideas, behinds, whatever comes our way) is what we are all about. Some things remain as they were since last fall and warrant another quick go-around:
- Companies concerned about employee engagement, productivity and retention need to recognize that supporting the fast-growing number of *parent employees* raising children who are struggling in school has a direct correlation to the bottom-line;
- The numbers of children being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities and "hidden differences" continues to skyrocket and this equates to complex issues (e.g. families, finances, health) facing the parents standing beside these children;
- All children and teens deserve every opportunity -- along with the services and supports they need -- to succeed in school for school is the pathway to life;
- Bullying of any sort (i.e. school, cyber) must not be tolerated and each adult has a responsibility to intervene at every turn *and* to teach the social thinking and behavior skills needed to end this epidemic; and
- Parents ... every Mom and Dad ... hold the keys to their child's ability to succeed in school and beyond.
Last year around this time, some statistics were eye-opening to many yet supported what we already knew:
- That 68% of 8th grade students cannot read at grade level;
- That 85% of children with special needs report being bullied; and
- That 100% of all children need an adult -- whether a parent, guardian, or extended family member -- on their side to advocate for their needs.
We can all discuss policy change, education reforms, teacher accountability, school choice, testing, and a host of other child and education-focused issues and each has their place and importance in the realm of raising productive children into adulthood. Yet one thing is for certain -- it all starts with one parent or parent team armed with the information and strategies necessary to turn their child's frustration and failure into progress and promise. We hope you agree.