Our community's youths belong to all of us
WORTHINGTON -- Recently, I was having an enjoyable chat with two senior citizens. The conversation evolved into the topic of the behavior of adolescents. Both of these grandfathers expressed dismay at the lack of respect demonstrated by kids. The...
WORTHINGTON -- Recently, I was having an enjoyable chat with two senior citizens. The conversation evolved into the topic of the behavior of adolescents. Both of these grandfathers expressed dismay at the lack of respect demonstrated by kids. They further developed the thought by shifting some of the blame to parents that failed to instill character in the generation of their grandchildren. Then a light bulb went off. The parents they were blaming were their children that they raised. They realized that they actually played a significant role in the development of our current youth.
The point became obvious. Youth are a reflection of our entire community. Everyone plays a role in raising our children.
At a recent school leadership seminar, I heard a renowned psychologist talk of the current "culture of disrespect" that prevails in our country. He referred to several factors such as the media, poor role models, family issues, chemical use and other factors that have a strong impact on society. These variables are eroding some our cultural standards and create a major threat to the future of our youth.
Should we be concerned here in the Worthington area? Smaller, rural communities have always enjoyed a buffer from the negative influences that can adversely effect the youth in metropolitan areas. However, the advantage of the small, out-state Minnesota school is being neutralized. Cable TV, Internet, video games and the DVD player have brought harmful culture, values and influences to rural America.
All rural schools face this dilemma. Demands by the state legislature are increasing. Regional demographics dictate a slight, continuous decline in student enrollment. This translates into an equivalent drop in state funding and budget cuts. And ultimately, our youth, our students will be affected; our community will be affected.
Peter Benson, author of "All Kids Are Our Kids," stated that although community-wide initiatives may be the ultimate strategy for building strong, intelligent, up-standing young men and women, the effort most often begins with a family, a teacher, a neighborhood, a congregation that sees the vision and decides to act. Quiet, even solitary beginnings do make a difference. Over time, these quiet actions can become a steady drumbeat that transforms our community of Worthington, Minn., one young person at a time.
Yes, we all play a significant role in the development of our youth, our children, our students, and ultimately our community.
The spring activity season will be starting soon at WMS, and there are tons of things to do ... and tons of things for the community to see! Not only does WMS have activities running throughout the year that focus on community improvement and involvement such as VOKK, FCCLA, SADD and Student Council, but our spring athletic season also begins. Softball and baseball are available for students in grades seven and eight, while track and golf is available to students in sixth through eighth grade. The start date for softball and baseball is Monday, March 17, while golf and track will begin on April 1 (all weather permitting).
Also, please keep in mind that our first-ever Academic Showcase Night will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18. The ENTIRE COMMUNITY is welcome to attend and see Worthington Middle School "in action."
If you have any questions about our activities at the middle school, please contact Jennifer Backer, assistant principal, at 376-4174.