Making Kids Part of the Conversation

Guest post by Rebecca Forbes, Grants & Contracts Assistant, TASC

At Thirteen’s 2012 Celebration of Teaching and Learning last week, Wes Moore, an author, youth advocate and veteran, noted that the young people of our country can’t just be “subjects” in conversations about education reform, they have to be part of them. [Watch a replay of his talk here.]

He’s right: Right now, our nation’s youth are a relatively silent majority in national and local conversations about education. It is crucial that they become dynamic actors in the dialogue.

When kids have—and take—a stake in their education, they own their future. One of the best ways to give kids choices in how and what they learn is through enrichment programs, both during and after the school day. No matter what form they take, such activities introduce them to broader skill sets, brighter experiences and bigger worlds.

Of the various programs I participated in growing up, my years on the high school newspaper were invaluable, both academically and personally. Collaboration, diligence and passion weren’t just stock values; they were the building blocks that led to a co-editor-in-chief byline and a love of great writing. And they made me eager to keep at it in college and beyond.

At a recent staff meeting. Lucy reminded us that “education is a civil right,” a statement that has stuck with me ever since. Every child deserves to expand their horizons; we should work together to guide them towards claiming that right.