July 4th is about independence. Most people have the day off and we even light up the sky to celebrate the independence of our nation. We sit under the beating sun to watch parades go by and we scour Pinterest for the latest versions of red, white, and blue themed desserts and party favors.
But what about our kids? At the very same time that Americans spend a fortune on libations, hot dogs and hamburgers, and pricey fireworks, we have a crisis of children graduating high school without the skills they need to live an independent and prosperous life. We have generational poverty and dependence because we fail at making the case that education is the ticket out of dependency and into the glory of what we celebrate this week: independence.
Only 4 out of 10 children in my state read at grade level by the 4th grade. Independence will be far harder to achieve without the ability to read well.
So after the sparklers cease to sparkle, the grills are turned off, and the beer runs out, let’s redouble our focus and our energy on helping all kids achieve the level of preparedness that they need and deserve.
If we care about independence—which we will all be claiming we do over the next couple days—let’s act on it all year round.