Investing in schools

“It takes a village to raise a child.”

— A proverb

It’s back-to-school time again. In the weeks ahead, students will puzzle through math problems, delve into the mysteries of science and untangle the complexities of language arts. While all that’s important academically, there’s another, less-obvious lesson to be absorbed — civic responsibility.

Of course for students, teachers, parents and guardians, going back to school takes center stage right now. There are class schedules to get, school supplies to purchase and summer reading to cram. There are lesson plans and classrooms to prepare.

For the rest of us, the end of summer means heavy traffic just before and after school. There are more keiki to watch out for on road shoulders.

But there’s more the community should do to support schools.

It can mean donating a fan to a teacher with a hot classroom, volunteering to serve as a crossing guard, working in the library or helping decorate a stage for May Day festivities. There are tutoring opportunities in after-school programs or stepping up to help coach a team. Young people need strong role models in their formative years, and there are many opportunities to make a difference in young lives.

For those blessed financially, there’s no lack of school fundraisers to support: bake and candy sales for team uniforms, Portuguese sausage for school trips and dinner and luau tickets for a dizzying array of worthwhile educational causes.

It’s important to remember that it’s not only teachers’ jobs to educate children or even the students themselves. Everyone, pulling together, should find a way to invest not only in education but in Maui County’s future.

And so, another proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.”

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.