The parents are the child's first teacher. It is their job to prepare them to enter kindergarten. Too many children in Horry County never see a book until they enter kindergarten.
Head Start is one of the most successful government programs. Parents or guardians are required to spend several hours a week at the center, where they learn about money management, nutrition, personal hygiene and housekeeping skills. An alternative to this would be a 4-year-old pre-kindergarten that would serve many more children than Head Start.
The teacher's job is to teach. It is not the teacher's or the school's job to discipline. If the child is not taught the difference between right and wrong by the time he or she reaches middle school, it’s too late.
A school dropout often ends up on the street and is either dead or in prison by the time he or she is 25. Persons who can't read can't get a minimum wage job and enlisting in the military now requires a high school diploma and passing a written test.
The jobs of the future will require skills not only in health care and electronic technology but also electricians, plumbers, aircraft and auto mechanics, hairdressers, landscapers, etc.
The school boards, the politicians, businesses, civic organizations, have to cooperate. There are many programs for special needs and gifted children but we need to go further and provide programs for the disadvantaged so that "No child is left behind."
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.