Friday, April 24, 2009

STORY TELLING TIME: R e a l l y ! ! ! !

All the kids were great storytellers when I was in the 2nd grade. We had to be. If the truth came out we had a close up and personal encounter with the teacher's paddle. Yes, the big one with the holes! We told our stories and exchanged National Geographic pictures quietly with a friend or two behind the school. Now they give the kids a microphone and applaude.

Today it was my honor to be invited to attend a Story Telling Time at Canton Country Day School with my lovely daughter Kimberly. The "story tellers" would be the dozen or less in the second grade with my granddaughter "Rosebud", (Delaney Rose Pierce Boggs).

Canton Country Day is a private K-8th grade school. The tuition for Rosebud and her brother, Riley, is equal to my annual income.
Unfortunately, the tuition does not begin to cover the schools expenses. Teachers, employees, parents and the community all pitch in to make the school work. (This computer bank is for the K-1st grade!)

While there are a goodly representative of the Hoover, Diebold or Timkin families in this private school, as the older, well used cars in the parking lot would indicate, there are also a goodly number of families for whom their children's education represents deep love and much dedication.

All my grandchildren have attended private schools, some K-8 some K-12, but Canton Country Day is truly special. The student to teacher ratio is maybe 12 to 1, at least in the two 2nd grades.
As one would expect from such an investment, the families of the students are fully involved on a daily and weekly basis, year after year. The teachers talk to the parents daily as the children are personally taken by their teacher to their parent's cars at the end of the day. Of course, parents were at today's story telling. But so were grandparents and great grandparents.

The most frequent stories seemed to be about gift exchanges on Chrismas Day. There were other stories, however, from a boy who described being in an automobile accident and a girl who described getting her ears pierced.

Following the group presentation the students went to their desks and the visitors visited with the students one-on-one and heard their other stories. It was interesting seeing the different individual development. Some were shy and some were just matter-of-fact. One little girl's words just gushed out, plain but rapid . Kimberly and I grined and said "The Mary Alice Factor".

Maya, who told about getting her ears pierced, had freckles. I told her that in my nearly 80 years I have found that the prettiest girls all had freckles. The big grin she gave paid me for once again "not letting the truth get in the way of a good story". I told her mother that whatever Maya pursued in life, she would be a winner. She will be too, I'd bet on it. So will Taylor. So will Rosebud. They are three "amigos".

The lack of personal committment by so many of today's parents has resulted in a down turn in the quality of the nation's children. That, along with political "dumbing down" to the lowest level, will be a heavy debt to be paid in foreign competition. When educators are more interested in their union benefits than in proving their own merit with results, little hope exists for improvement in the public school system, as a whole.

And, it is not money
! The public High School in Smithville, Ohio, an older school in a small town, turns out some of the nation's top students and great athletes. I am of the opinion that never in our history have the best students been better. Children are all born perfect. If only parents who worry about affording the "good life" would realize what a true treasure has been entrusted to their care.
We viewed their art work and enjoyed a small reception. The visit was over. This day was encouraging. Thank you Kimberly and Jack. Thank you Country Day School.

John W. Whitehead:

Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see"

God Bless!

1 comment:

Mark Pierce said...

Dad - What a great post! I really enjoyed reading about Delaney. I love how you added the pictures and some personal history. You are really a GREAT blogger! Keep up the wonderful work! Mark