08/28/09 — Outlook: Positive -- What makes excitement turn to lethargy for some children?

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Outlook: Positive -- What makes excitement turn to lethargy for some children?

What makes them change?

The children on the front page of today's paper are just starting their school careers -- eager and excited about their first day of kindergarten.

So what happens along the way to make those smiling little boys and girls who are so eager to head to the classroom turn into children and teenagers who have zero interest in learning and school?

When we find the answer to that question, we just might be one step closer to putting an end to the problem of dropouts in Wayne County.

The truth is that the problems of children who hate to read, who refuse to work at their potential and who give up on school before they even have a chance to succeed, are getting a bit better, but not enough to say that we can concentrate on something else.

Maybe the key is in those young children with scrubbed faces conducting excited discussions about their first day of kindergarten.

Maybe we need to concentrate on what makes that first day so special to them and the prospect of getting to go to school so exciting that they cannot wait to get on the bus. From that information, we can figure out a way to keep our children engaged and interested long after that first day has become many first days.

There are many factors that play into the development of a child and his or her attitude toward learning. Some of it is parental influence, some of it is peer pressure. All of them set the stage for a child's future.

But no matter what, until we change their minds about learning and their futures, we have little hope of doing anything to keep them in school.

Maybe those kindergartners have more to teach us than we thought they did.

Published in Editorials on August 28, 2009 10:47 AM