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Parents are the key to investing in education

Parents and guardians are key to making sure kids become well educated and prepared for the future. There are several ways parents can ensure they are helping their children.

A recent publication by InvestMN, a collaborative communication of Minnesota administrator and principal organizations, emphasizes the importance parents can play in a child's education.

Research shows that early childhood learning is essential to future success, according to InvestMN. A state investment in early childhood education is likely to show a benefit of $10 for every $1 invested. The organization says parents can help prepare their children by:

n Providing early childhood education opportunities.

n Reading to children daily.

n Introducing new words, shapes, colors, letters and numbers daily.

n Exposing children to a variety of positive experiences.

n Talking with children about their experiences.

n Playing with children respectfully and cooperatively.

InvestMN also says that kids of all ages need communities willing to provide support for healthy development of our children. Studies show that the more assets kids have in their lives, the more likely they are to have life success and avoid high risk behavior.

We agree that as a community we are responsible for providing support to our children. It's also important that we work together with educators and lawmakers.

With the state facing a significant $6.2 billion deficit in the next biennium, collaboration and creativity are a must. Resources will be limited and we must do what we can to make sure the next generation is receiving the best possible education.

We can't continue to operate with the status quo. Change is needed, along with an open mind to do things differently.

Parents and others in the community need to become more involved in education by showing an interest and volunteering. Together we as a community can continue to provide a quality education for our children.