Sunday, February 27, 2011

Irmo knights of columbus raise more than $6,000 for special needs children

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  February 27 2011           Irmo  Knights of Columbus Raises and Donates More Than $6,000 to           Organizations Assisting Mentally Disabled and special Needs Students.  IRMO- Our Lady of the Hills' Knights of Columbus Council 6892 recently held its          annual luncheon and presentation to benefit its sponsored organizations,        assisting mentally disabled children an children with special needs.        The Irmo Knights of Columbus Council, which made one hundred and five percent        of its fund raising goal for this year, held the  February 19,2011 event at        the church;s family life center, Located at 120 Marydale Lane.        The Irmo Knights of Columbus Council, which made one hundred and five percent        of this year's fund raising goal, made presentations of $3,085.17 each to the        Fairwold Pendergrass School for mentally challenged students, located in        Columbia, and the South Carolina Special Olympics.       The presentations were made by council grand knight, Sir Knight Gerald       Couture, and Father, David Whitman of Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church.       Father Whitman who recently became parochial vicar of Our Lady of the Hills       Church, is also a member of the Knights of Columbus Organizations.       The Irmo council would like to thank the community and the following local       businesses for their continuing support of the Operation H.O.P.E       fundraisers,that helped raise the more than $6,000 that was raised to benefit       Fairworld Pendergrass School and South Carolina Special Olympics. Irmo Fatz       Cafe' at 7420 Broad River Road, that sponsored the kickoff breakfast, this       past August; Kroger Grocery store in Irmo, Sams Club Store in Harbison, and       Wal-Mart on Bush River Rd.       Operation H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Everyday) is a nation wide Knights of       Columbus campaign, that benefits various charities that work to assist and       enhance the lives of physically and mentally Challenged citizens, and 85       percent of all proceeds stay within the community in which they are raised.       For more information on the Irmo Knights of Columbus Council's Operation       H.O.P.E fund raising programs to benefit the mentally disadvantaged citizens       interested persons may contact Jim Sansonetti, Operation Hope Chairman, at      803-361-1801. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New South Carolina Secretary of Education needs to also hold parents accountable


BY: Keith H. Seymour-Contributing Editor

First, I should preface my remarks by objectively pointing out that while Secretary Zais' success in raising the academic standing of Newberry College, may go unchallenged, it is only fair to also point out that South Carolina's new Secretary of Education has no experience in dealing with pre-college students or their parents and teachers, except from personal experience in his own role as a parent. These points are not raised to discredit Secretary Zais or his plans to improve education in South Carolina, but to merely allow the reader to make an educated and objective judgment in regards to them, and any related comments made in this editorial.

Recently, South Carolina's new State Superintendent of Education, Mick Zais, a former Army General, who as a college president rescued that same college from being a poor performing college to what many have referred to as a college revered for academic excellence, released a statement on how he plans to raise public education standard in South Carolina.

Specifically, Secretary Zais, would like to pay teachers based on merit rather than their credentials. For example, a teacher will not merely get paid because that teacher has a degree and several years of experience in teaching the subject matter, but on how well that teacher;s students do in the areas of grades and graduation rates. While Secretary Zais' reasoning of of weeding out the bad teachers is certainly justifiable, he need to put the success of South Carolina's public school system into proper perspective by holding parents equally accountable for their children's success. Otherwise he will end up hurting South Carolina's Education system more that it helps.

Since Mr. Zais has no experience working within the public school system, or even with teachers, students, and teachers outside of a collegiate environment, he would be best advised to remember that

any educator, social worker or parent worth his or her salt will admit that good education not only begins, but is reinforced at home. As a matter of fact, this is why many parents and experts feel that home schooling. Magnet schools, and virtual schools have becoming increasing popular over the years.

The fact is a teacher can do everything that he or she needs to to make sure that students are academically successful, but if parents are not reinforcing those efforts through active involvement with the school system teacher, and child, those efforts are going to have a limited an even non-existent positive effect on the student's educational success.

Many parents will even use the excuse that it is inconvenient for them to attend a quarterly parent teacher-conference and are unable to find a combined three or four hours a months to attend a school board meeting, or PTO/PTA meeting, because they already spending an extra 20 or more hours a week taking their kids to extra-curricular activities, in the name of making sure that child is well-rounded, and academically competitive.

If Secretary Zais plans to hold parents accountable for being involved in their children;s educations, how does he plan to do so? He can't make their involvement mandatory. He can't fire them, or affect their paychecks. These are issues Secretary Zais needs to also address in order to improve our state's public school rankings.