This I Believe

Sonja - Chula Vista, California
Entered on November 18, 2007

I believe that we should cease all public declarations regarding the tragedy of America’s achievement gap. Sadly, it presents one segment of society in celebratory tones and the other segment as one of hopelessness despite all attempted interventions. Black and brown children do not need to be constantly reminded that they are behind their white and Asian peers no more than the overweight need to be reminded that he or she is so much larger than the thin. Instead, I believe that we should make public libraries havens, inviting and warm places where one can read, color, think, or be read to seven days a week, twenty four hours a day. I believe that the librarian should know the names of all the children in the community they serve and make random calls to homes inviting kids to read alouds and book parties. I believe that parents must force their children to go outside and ride their bikes, play tether ball, and have water balloon fights. And too, parents should also meet and support their children’s teachers by reserving quiet time at home for study and homework. I believe all adults should teach their children that every person deserves the right to an education. I believe that the nation must reserve two hours per day to educating someone, anyone. One’s logged hours should be treated as seriously as paying taxes. I believe that if we stop subliminally sending the message that I am smarter because I am white or Asian that all kids will feel as though every child in the country truly has a chance regardless of ethnicity or where one resides. I believe it is hypocrisy to do nothing but nod one’s head or shrug one’s shoulders regarding the abysmal test scores of the black and brown. I think we should all stop pointing fingers at the teachers, at the parents, at the “indifferent” students, at the politicians, at the media, and instead join hands and help the children, all children.