It takes a family and a village

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What do Hillary Clinton and Bob Dole have to do with improving public education in our community?

Perhaps more than you think.

Hillary Clinton wrote the 1996 bestseller, “It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us.” Later that same year, Bob Dole, the presidential hopeful seeking to best Hillary’s husband quipped, “I am here to tell you, it does not take a village to raise a child. It takes a family to raise a child.”

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But both theories are on the money. At the very core, Dole is correct; the absolute best way to raise great children is by providing them a loving, nurturing home life filled with a caring family.

But for many young Americans, that is a dream, not reality. That’s true for a number of reasons among them the simple fact that many of their parents were not raised in that mode, either. The result is a generation of poorly raised children attempting to raise the next generation without knowing the best way.

It would be easy to just blame the parents, shrug and move on to something else.

But fortunately, in our community, the “village” is seeking to make a difference with the parents first, realizing that they are the key to breaking the cycle of poor family life skills.

The group Parents for Public Schools is working hard to get out into the community at the grass-roots level to help create leaders among the parents. The group met with parents in Natchez Saturday.

Using the power of the village to help raise the family who will in turn raise the child is a smart way to attack the problem.

Is the village up to the task?