Academic journal article Education

The "I like Me!" Program Is a Wonderful Project

Academic journal article Education

The "I like Me!" Program Is a Wonderful Project

Article excerpt

It's a pleasure to be here. The Telephone Pioneers are a wonderful group of people, a phenomenal group of people, actually. I spent the morning with you, and I'm really energized by your excitement about education and about reading.

Back about a century ago, a great philosopher said that "in every child that's born, no matter of what parents and no matter of what circumstance, the potentiality of the human race is born again." We all spent this morning taking a close look at some of San Antonio's potentialities. We read to them.

Any one of those little boys and girls we read to, whether white, Hispanic or African-American, can profoundly change the way we exist on this planet. The central challenge we as a nation face is, how we can go about nurturing, cultivating and-harvesting for the benefit of society and of mankind, those little potentialities. We all have a role to play in that effort.

We can do it as partners. In 1994 Secretary of Education Richard Riley established the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education. We started off with a small group of business, religious and community organizations and school and family groups. The major premise of the Partnership can be encapsulated in an old Danish proverb: "Who takes the child by the hand takes the parent by the heart."

There's no stronger bond in nature than that between a parent and a child. If we can harness the child's first and most important teacher, we can go a great way in improving education in this country. Secretary Richard Riley and the Department of Education firmly believe that. That partnership that started in 1994 with 45 members is now up to 4,300 members, and one of the most important members of that partnership is the Telephone Pioneers of America.

In September, 1998, we signed on the U.S. Postal Service as a partner. We've got partners all over the country -- partners that are doing exciting things like you are with "I Like Me!" all over the country, along the lines of reading, technology, higher standards, and parent involvement. During the months of August through October, the Partnership for Family Involvement celebrates America Goes Back to School, where individual members of the Partnership celebrate the achievements that they've made possible over the course of the year. We have over 800 events being celebrated during this period, and today's event [reading to kindergartners from their own personalized book] is one of the most exciting ones that I've participated in. …

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