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“Our Young People Deserve an Education Where They Can Learn to be Critical Thinkers.”

Last week Drexel’s Center for the Prevention of School-Aged Violence awarded Leticie Almiron with their first Violence Prevention Award for a Teacher. Below is her speech which highlights how the underfunding of schools is violent:

I have been working with children for many years and I have witnessed the conditions many of them have to live with and face every day. Elementary Education is the foundation to learning how to read, write and understand basic math skills. This is where children develop their love for learning and can start to build a level of self-confidence that is needed to feel successful. However, many children either never gets to feel like a successful student or lose that feeling way too early in their educational career. Unfortunately, our classrooms are overcrowded and underfunded to give each child an adequate, quality, and fair education.

This causes our children to act violent out of frustration because no one is able to meet all of their physical, emotional, social and educational needs. They start to slip through the cracks in the school system at an early age and we all need to speak out and fight for the future of our young children and our next generation of citizens.

As a new teacher it wasn’t easy to speak up to administrators and coaches in my school, but I knew it was necessary to do so if I wanted my students to be successful. I have been able to keep my class size under 20 students and have challenged many decisions made to get what I feel my students need in my classroom.

Every day and every new school year brings different challenges and now many programs are being cut out or altered due to a lack of local, state and federal funding. Our young people deserve an education where they can learn to be critical thinkers and develop a true understanding on how to be productive citizens in our society. I propose three solutions that will require your active participation and true commitment to complete.

  1. Make your voice and opinions heard. Don’t stop even if you’re the only one.

  2. Be involved in your child’s education, your community and schools. Talk to their teachers, principals and your neighbors. Listen and support each other to better serve our young people.

  3. Last but not least, organize a movement that can start a change. Put actions to your thoughts and fight for that change. Trust our young people to know what they need in their schools and classroom.

Thank you!

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