Letter from the Publisher

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Most days, I”m all smiles. But today – well, I need to vent. Don”t get me wrong, I”d much rather be kickin” back, living the dream as a rising third grader, but I just can”t. I”m concerned for our country. More specifically, I”m worried about my people. My generation. The youth of America.

Here”s the deal. Lots of kids are falling behind in school. They struggle and just seem to lack motivation. Not all of us, of course, but far too many.# Later on in life, some will need remedial education to just catch up and have a shot at a college degree.#What”s worse though is that many end up dropping out of high school and college all together. #It”s like they”ve given up on the future before they even get started. That worries me.

We need a solution and I think we have to look beyond the classroom for some answers. I know, I know. That”s profound. Especially coming from me. You know what they say though – outta the mouths of babes.

My theory is that many in my generation have simply lost hope. #You know — the dreaming about the future kind of hope. #The stay in school, work hard kind of hope. The be whatever you want to be kind of hope. The kind of hope that inspires you to do your best.

And is it any wonder?# I mean, have you seen the news? I try to keep it on Disney watching cartoons, but on occasion when I”m flip”n through channels, l land on the news. Wanna kill some hope? Just watch the news for a minute. #Mortgage crisis. Student loan crisis. Unemployment. Healthcare. And don”t even get me going on politics. Truth be told, sometimes the news channel looks a lot like cartoons. What a cast of characters. But I digress –

I hear a lot of smart people are working on education programs to help the problem. I can appreciate that, but as my granddaddy says, we might be fishing in the wrong pond.

This is pretty deep for a third grader, but hang with me. I think we”ve lost some ground in the faith and hope compartments of life. You can throw love in the mix, too, for good measure. I”m concerned we”re waiting too late to fix the problem and that we”re trying to do it from an academic point of view, perhaps failing to address the problem at its core.

I know I”m a lucky girl. I”ve got parents, grandparents, a church family and friends who instilled in me since birth the belief that I can do anything. They”ve encouraged me from day one. Taught me the meaning of faith, hope and love. I”ve seen those virtues — along with hard work — modeled before me. It”s given me a foundation I can build on.

Unfortunately, that”s not the same view that all of my peeps have and it”s gonna take a lot of dedication on many levels to get us back on track. I think we need to restore the American dream. Encourage each other. Start early in life on the basics. Love one another. Hope for the future. Keep the faith.

Yes, I may be stating the obvious, over simplifying and sounding a little like Pollyanna, but give me a break – I”m in third grade.

Can we start by holding each other accountable for thinking positive? Step out a little more in faith and encourage others to do so as well? Maybe we can restore the American dream one little piece of hope at a time.

Somehow, we have to help people see that the solution to a lot of our problems starts from within.# We all have to do our part. Dream big. Stay in school. Work hard. Don”t give up. Think positive and just be nice.

That”s how I see it.
Gracie Greer

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