As I wait for a Metro Bus, yellow school buses occupied by middle school aged students chug up and down Troost. Ninety degree mornings have passed to let seventy degree mornings descend upon our city - I welcome the change. The summer break is over, and kids who call Community LINC home have received their new clothes, shoes and haircuts. I recently asked some of the kids what they expected to gain from this school year. After some delay to answer, and some more prodding, the group I spoke to concluded that they thing they wanted to improve upon was reading.
I didn’t expect this answer; I figured the most important thing for kids would be to reconnect with friends or make new ones. After all, it was what I enjoyed most about returning to school as a youth. I am excited to know kids today embrace the importance of reading. Reading is the key that unlocks knowledge, and knowledge is power, as the saying goes. Being able to read gives a student the tool to become anything they desire in life. The skill of reading provides the ability to learn and improve. During one Thursday night class session at Community LINC, we had asked a group of kids to maintain a quiet atmosphere during the time allotted to eat the provided snack. I was happy to see that when one child finished eating, he chose to grab a book from the bookshelf and read while the others finished eating.
Kansas City’s population can be critical of the Kansas City Missouri School District, but it seems at least one aspect of education is being embraced by students: reading. As I thought about the conversation I had with the kids about reading, I could only think of one possible child, of reading age, who struggled with reading. This encompasses three years of volunteering at LINC. This is a very positive thing as reading and reading comprehension are vital for anyone to succeed and be self-sustainable.