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Can you help make the future brighter?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Last week, I had the honor of attending the kick-off event for Cassville Bright Futures. This new program is designed to help more students reach goals, such as successfully completing high school, by meeting basic needs from the time children begin preschool.

As a youngster, I don't remember one time that my basic needs went unmet. I might have longed for more expensive shoes or a more expansive wardrobe, but I always had quality clothing and shoes, a nice bed in a comfortable home, food, water and, above all else, love. I might have thought I needed more, but in truth, I never wanted for anything as a child. Having these basic needs met freed me up to set other goals in my life, including: graduating high school at the top of my class; earning a college degree; achieving a professional career in the field of my choice; and becoming a wife and a mother.

We have all heard the quote, "It takes a village to raise a child." Maybe this is true. In addition to loving parents, I always had the support of my grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings. Not all children have that network of support. For this reason, Bright Futures could make a world of difference in the lives of some of our local children.

Last Thursday, Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent, reminded those attending the Bright Futures kick-off that the district is not asking for money. Cassville R-4 is just asking us, as community members, to lend our time, talents and treasures to area children in need. Richard asked those attending the event if they enjoyed eating lunch. He suggested we simply take time to come to the school and have lunch with a student just to offer support, encouragement and love.

This week, families across Barry County are celebrating graduation. Parents are watching students reach one of the biggest milestones of their lives and set college and career goals or begin families of their own. Area residents are also honoring mothers with dinners out, trips to the zoo and other family activities. As we celebrate graduations and Mothers' Day this week, I challenge each member of our community to take a moment to think about the blessings in their lives. Can those blessings be used to help local students? Can you share your time, talents and treasures to ensure every local child is able to focus on a bright future?

Community members interested in getting involved in Bright Futures are encouraged to call Jill LeCompte at 847-4008 or Melanie Stringer at 847-3136 or email LeCompte at jlecompte@cassville.k12.mo.us or Stringer at mstringer@cassville.k12.mo.us.

Lindsay Reed