Paynesville Press - November 5, 2003

Community Perspective

Education is important gift to children

By Paul Bugbee

The first quarter of this school year has come to an end.

Isn't it interesting how easily students take their elementary and secondary education for granted? Yet in reality, these first 12-13 years of their formal education are perhaps the most important years in defining the rest of their lives; their careers, their lifestyles, their sense of achievement and fulfillment, their impact on our society and our world,Štheir future.

In the eyes of our children learning, development, and growth are matters of trust. As parents we assume the responsibility of nurturing our offspring for their survival as adults and their ultimate contribution as inhabitants of this planet and this universe. Providing the highest level of educational opportunities for our children is the most significant gift we can ever bestow!

As members of this community we can all take pride in our local public schools. We consistently read and hear reports of tremendous achievement in areas of academic skills, sports, music and arts, and community outreach. Your support of our teachers, school staff, coaches, administration and school board is showing great results for our children.

Nearly two years ago, when faced with crippling budget shortfalls in our schools we were thrilled by the outpouring of financial support which citizens of our community gave in an effort to save a number of worthwhile academic and extracurricular programs. Two months later we were humbled beyond words by the tremendous voter turnout and support favoring a new financial levy referendum for our schools.

The "Keep the Quality" Education Foundation wants to build upon these successes. Recognizing shortfalls in public funding for our schools, our organization wants to ensure that the highest level of educational opportunities exist for our children in this communityŠ always!

As a nonprofit, civic organization we are seeking financial contributions to strengthen our local schools.

We want our children to be recognized as graduates from the top rated school district in Minnesota. We want our school's sports programs, music, arts, and extracurricular activities to be admired among the best in the state, tournament after tournament, year after year. We want our teachers to be recognized as the state's best.

With all of its other outstanding attributes, we want this community to be known throughout the state as the place to raise your child because of its excellent public schools.

Imagine, families and businesses choosing to move to Paynesville because of our reputation of academic excellence!

Reality is a direct by-product of our dreams; and, in Paynesville, we know that when it comes to our children's education, the dream of quality education is a reality. With the support of our community, the "Keep the Quality" Education Foundation believes that we can enhance this reality even further.

As you review your child's first-quarter report card, we ask you to dream along with us. Is it possible for your children to get better grades in school? Is it possible for your children to enjoy learning and to find fulfillment in all that knowledge has to offer? Is it possible for your children to excel in life beyond your wildest imagination?

We think soŠand with your support we're going to do all that we can to make it happen! Our children deserve nothing less.

(Author's Note: The "Keep the Quality" Education Foundation is presently seeking nominations for distinguished graduates of Paynesville Area High School. Please submit any suggestions to the "Keep the Quality" Education Foundation; P.O. Box 187; Paynesville, MN 56362.)

Bugbee is the president of the "Keep the Quality" Education Foundation.

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