I was blessed this past month to be able to take a cross-country trip with my wife and daughters to visit some dear friends and close family nearly 2300 miles away. While we did succumb to the fast food and backseat DVD player – we tried our best to engage our kids in the many sites along the journey.
On our way home we made the last minute decision to stop by the Hoover Dam. We figured it would be a great national treasure to visit and learn a bit about. We were certainly overwhelmed by the magnificence of the engineering feat and the oppressive Arizona/Nevada heat. Our girls had a bunch of questions that neither my wife nor I knew the answers. Our solution was to go to the visitor’s center to learn a bit more.
That was the cost for our family to walk through the visitor’s center. A bit shocked and surprised, we decided to simply take our questions to Google and save the money.
The $40 wouldn’t have broken the bank for us – I am thankful to be blessed beyond what we need or deserve. The issue that I had was the cost in general and how expensive it has become to give your kids those great experiences.
When did educational opportunities become so dependent on family income?
Some real disparaging tweets that I came across this week alone:
A higher percentage of jobs in the future will require advance degrees – yet look who is finishing college.
— #ConnectedLearning (@TheCLAlliance) July 27, 2015
Fewer kids in rural areas have access to courses to prepare them for college entrance – or even career readiness…fewer opportunities to these students based on income and geography.
— Education Week (@educationweek) July 27, 2015
The opportunity gap is a very real tragedy in American education – students from families of means have greater opportunities as compared to students from lower income families. Access to private coaching, academic tutoring, cultural experiences, and now even the Hoover Dam.
One final thought…
My passion on this topic is very personal – growing up my family often struggled to make ends meet. I was an apartment kid, made dinner for myself when my parents were working and lived in 6 different states during my elementary schooling – for me though, education was the great equalizer. My parents did their best to prepare a way for me to get to college and to pursue my passion for helping kids.
My new endeavor, myOWNedu comes directly out of this personal passion. I want to help all parents help their children discover their path to purpose and fulfillment – regardless of social class or income.
Here’s to closing that dam opportunity gap!
Visit www.myOWNedu.net to learn more about transforming parent engagement.