"3 Cheers for the 3 C's and 3 R's"
by Pastor Rick Sams
Public schools get so much laid on their doorstep today. They are forced to offer childcare, healthcare, three meals a day, sex ed, phys ed, psychological services, career guidance, hygiene instruction, clothing, and school supplies. Then there’s that little matter of the 3 R’s—readin’, writin and ‘rithmetic. And when they don’t perform all the above up to our expectations we trash them. But how can they succeed in all these areas when they are spread so thin doing the things that parents used to do?
Higher education is in a tight spot too. Money is drying up for student scholarships. Online degrees have cut deeply into the pockets and pool of students our colleges and universities used to draw from. Demographics don’t do them any favors either as the population of high school grads in Ohio is predicted to steadily drop until 2025.
So what is the solution?
I want to give a shout out for the shining example some area schools show. A group of folks from business, industry, church, and government met with educational leaders from Stark County a while back.
What we observed deserves three cheers for the COLLABORATION and COOPERATION happening among those educational institutions that many would think were in COMPETITION (3 C’s) with each other. Just one example is instead of each entity building expensive labs, one will share with the others. Then the “borrowing” institutions will provide something else the others need. It’s win-win-win. Mostly it’s our young people winning. Actually all of us come out ahead because these students become the well-educated professionals we all need and want to stay in Stark County.
Like a good student, I was taking notes. Churches could benefit much from this kind of cooperation. There are things my fellow pastors do well that I should not try to duplicate at our church, and vice versa. Actually all of us could learn from these educational leaders. Where else could we benefit from partnerships vs. partisanship; cooperation vs. competition?
Washington, are you listening?
The other note I’ve jotted is: how often do we need to look in the mirror to see what I can do to help solve a problem instead of looking out the window to see who I can throw a stone at? If all of our churches did a better job building families, then the schools could focus on the 3 R’s. That’s another win-win that deserves a cheer.