By Brenda Bolton, Florence
What can a school do for you? Maybe it is not foremost in your mind anymore because you are “graduated,” an “empty-nester,” or just busy with life. You barely notice that building displaying the American flag, surrounded by teachers’ and parents’ cars. You quickly pass the windows full of paper art and the playground echoing with shouts of excitement without even thinking you or your children were once daily visitors.
A school can be the heart of your community. It can be the place where people flow in and out as they play, learn, and define community. At the most basic level it draws youth to its doors as a place of learning. The development of independent learning coincides with group interaction preparing one for varied ways of managing life. At a more diverse level, it imparts knowledge to all ages through adult education, volunteering, the arts, civic duty and athletics.
Next time you drive Long Avenue or Old Hwy 93 in Florence, reminisce about the gatherings created at your school. Sporting events, bazaars, drama productions, elementary music programs, band and choir recitals, dances, baseball sign-ups, Thanksgiving feasts, outdoor classroom expeditions and graduations. What do you feel?
When people choose a community and a school, they choose to support their children, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, banks, fire departments, parks, and more. Schools return the favor by providing education, employing a substantial number of people, supporting local businesses and encouraging opportunities for involvement. Schools create a local economy. Quality schools and communities produce healthy people, thriving businesses, and strong home values.
Step into a small Montana town and gauge how important “their” school is. It is their academic and economic lifeblood. As students flow from home to school and to community bringing back the flow of parents, relatives and friends, the transfer of knowledge, respect, and friendship develops relationship and common goals.
Schools nurture and develop the minds of the young, engage the minds of adults and stimulate the imagination of all. Communities and schools are a melting pot of ages, skills, beliefs, and dreams. Communities and schools are alive.
On May 8, 2012 you will have the opportunity to think about what you can do for your school. Florence-Carlton School asks that you slow down, take a look at that busy section of town and consider how much it means to you. A “yes” vote and an average monthly investment around $4.00 will allow FCS to retain teachers, a foreign language program, and provide adequate maintenance funds.
A school is value in your pocket, in your mind, and in your heart.