His thoughts — As our children return to school…

Published 12:00 pm Friday, September 2, 2022

As our schools are opening to welcome back our students for a new year, every school is on a different calendar schedule, and each has its own challenges and opportunities. Some, like Mecklenburg, are fortunate to be moving into a new high school and middle school. Others have plans for new or renovated schools in the coming years.

Virginia’s budget will make those plans easier for localities to be able to move forward more quickly on those plans. Governor Youngkin came to Mecklenburg for the ceremonial signing that directs $3 billion for capital projects. That money will be distributed around the state but will be most beneficial to smaller school systems that can ill afford the high cost of today’s construction costs.

BUILDINGS ARE NOT EDUCATION

While it is great to have well-built schools that will enhance the opportunities for our young people, buildings don’t educate students. Education is a people business. The most important element is caring teachers who are well prepared to deal with challenges around each student. We are fortunate to have many nurturing teachers in our region. We must all encourage them whenever possible.

Parents have a major role. They must make sure their children understand that they are expected to be good citizens. They must make sure they come to school ready to learn, rested from a good night’s sleep. They must be at their seat each and every day, ready to respect and follow the instructions of their teachers.

Each and every other member of our communities have just as much responsibility in this process. Education is a responsibility of every one of us that come into contact with those young people. Young people are very observant. They are aware of how much or little respect we show to those that do business with us. We all can and should be strong role models for them. At the same time, when we observe them veering off course, we need to speak up and alert their parents.

Frank Ruff Jr. represents Lunenburg in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.