Making I've been working with children (mostly teenagers) for lots of years. Encouragement to our youth seems to be something that is needed and unfortunately with today's economy, seems to be lacking. At a recent Chamber Board meeting, I listened to a proposal from our local school district Superintendent as he explained how many teachers will receive pink slips, what courses will be cut, and how class sizes will increase. A parcel tax was proposed and passed for endorsement almost unanimously for a special election by mail in May. A temporary "fix" for now.
So - what else are we going to do about the lack of education to the future leadership of our country? I'm proud to be a part of Rotary International who puts great emphasis on literacy. As this week is "Literacy Week", many of us have found our way to local elementary schools to "read to the students". It was most satisfying to have those little faces full of attention as they listened to stories about everything from the alphabet to animals. Not only are we lacking in the schools - but how many parents take (or even have) the time to just read with their kids. I can remember back to my own childhood and my parents encouragement to read. I started like most kids with Dr. Seuss, moved on to Nancy Drew, and from there, a continuous library of reading has been a good part of my life and learning experiences. My mind opened up to all kinds of possibilities and dreams. Adventures of story book characters kept me enthralled and as a bi-product improved my vocabulary and imagination.
So, here's where I encourage you, my readers. Choose a school and volunteer. Get involved. Find alternative learning opportunities. We have a wealth of life experiences to share. So let's share it. My kids are grown now with kids of their own. They love reading and being read to. My daughter was reading to my granddaughter while still swaddled. Now, at 10 years old, Anya reads voraciously, sometimes 2-3 books at a time.
Don't wait for a week especially created to "read to our youth". They need us now! And that's just the beginning.....

Author's Bio: 

Tish has been coaching and mentoring all kinds of "kids" for over 15 years. This is her joy and passion and the kids sense it. Tish teaches topics such as first impressions, shaking hands, life skills, goal setting and how to navigate the world of business and work.

Tish is vibrant and passionate. She’s constantly evolving with new thoughts, new processes, new ways of communication, all of which benefit “her kids”, while, at the same time, guiding Tish towards both personal and professional development to live her life at an amazing level of gratitude and joy! Tish is a frequent guest speaker at community organizations and local high schools and colleges such as Santa Monica College, USC Marshall and USC Annenberg.

All children are beginning to want control over their own lives. They want to pursue their dreams, whatever they may be. They want to hear that it is possible – even in today’s climate. Tish’s kids learn that it truly IS possible if they are coachable, committed, and want to develop conviction, persistence and a mindset that Failure is not an option.

With that, we make their dreams and vision a reality.