Monday, January 23, 2006

Baby Steps Program Helps Make a Difference

Just after the holiday season, I checked the Washington Post for one of my favorite columnists next column, but I was suprised when it was not there. William Raspberry, who has had a distinguished journalistic career with the Washington Post, and whose colums are syndicated in over 200 papers worldwide, returned at the end of the year. While I will miss his exemplary writing, I wondered more what he was going to do in retirement. He will continue to teach journalism students at Duke University, but he has a very intriguing education initiative planned for his hometown of Okolona Ms.

He, along with the University of Mississippi, The Okolona Chamber of Commerce, and the Barksdale Reading Institute have partnered on a program called Baby Steps . This program, which is been ungoing since last August 2005, is a program that emphasizes that role of a parent in the development of a child is critically important to its success. The program not only gives and helps parents (regardless of income level) help with their parenting skills, early childhood education, how to motivate the child, and role-playimg excercises. It attempts to advance the notion that it takes a village to raise a child, and if the efforts are geared towards them, that the whole community can benefit.

Raspberry's comments:

"The genius of the plan lies in the fact that parents have great power to influence their children’s academic success, and fundamental skills-such as self confidence, perseverance, teamwork and responsibility-can be taught at home."

I admire him for his efforts, and if he does succeed, I hope that he can take this on a national level. This program is needed everywhere, especially in areas that are berift of hope.

Other links to the story:

Cal Thomas- Washington Times December 30,2005

Clarion Ms. Ledger

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