General CBF

Reflections from Appalachia, Part 3

The following is a reflection on education in eastern Kentucky from Paula Settle, an affiliate serving with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship…

Today I was at the local elementary school in one of the counties where I serve. I was helping four kindergarten children with their ABC’s. Here it is at the end of the semester and these children still do not know their letters. These children did not attend Head Start and are not getting any help at home. One little boy in another class has missed 22 days of school this fall. (His mother can’t read and his father can barely read.) What chance does he have to succeed in school? His 16 year old sister is already wanting to quit school.

These true stories happen over and over in Appalachia. So many parents are not supportive of their children getting a basic education. In my other county three high school students have dropped out of school this fall. Their parents do not seem to be concerned that the teens have a bleak future without a high school diploma.

Last week I had a conversation with one of the high school teachers. She said that she has a hard time getting the youth to attend vocational school after high school due to transportation issues. Others won’t attend Job Corps because it means “going away from home.” (Every state has Job Corps sites that are free to students ages 16-24.) And so we just perpetuate the generations of uneducated young adults and those who refuse to find jobs away from their home towns.

We know that literacy/education issues are critical in this issue of poverty. We must do more in all of our communities to help children and youth succeed in school.

2 thoughts on “Reflections from Appalachia, Part 3

  1. How many seniors in this community are still attending.And getting thier education.Let the others children see how proud you are of the ones that are still hanging in there.

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