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Be part of solution, not part of problem

Want to be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem? Be a partner in education.

For years, residents have been told that one of the keys to improving the local economy is improving education.

No doubt, a strong public school system is an excellent selling point for businesses willing to bring money and jobs to the local economy. Prospective industries frequently point to the strength of a community’s educational opportunities as one of the top reasons for choosing a community.

Understanding the connection between academic achievement and economic prosperity should be a rallying cry for residents.  All too often, however, it is used as an excuse by many who throw up their hands and say there is nothing they can do to help.

But there is something we all can do, as a group of community leaders pointed out Tuesday.

The group met to re-establish the Partners in Education program, which aims to match businesses and individuals with schools to assist and improve education. As partners, businesses participate in the life of area schools — both public and private — by offering support in a variety of ways. Partners may sponsor luncheons to recognize teachers, provide mentoring and tutoring for students, assist in the library or classroom.

In turn, schools recognize the businesses on signage, in social media and a variety of other ways.

The hope is that the partnerships will strengthen the community’s commitment to education and prepare students for a future in the workforce.

Better yet, the program demonstrates to prospective industries that the community supports area schools and is working to improve education in the Miss-Lou.

Is the program the answer to all of the community’s education challenges? Of course not.

The solution lies in all of us working together. After all, is that what partnerships are all about?