June 18, 2012

Cheers and Jeers: June 18, 2012

CHEERS to Elizabeth C. Green for her many years as a lead counselor with Plattsburgh State’s Upward Bound program. “Biz,” as she’s called, assisted more than 1,000 students over her tenure, helping them along towards college. Upward Bound exists for high-school kids from low-income families. With the guidance of leaders such as Biz, the students develop the tools and skills, along with the motivation, that will make college application, study and completion happen for them. These students become the first generation of their families to hold college degrees in their hands. Biz has been an energetic leader whose enthusiasm is infectious and whose encouragement helped many students believe in themselves. And that made many a dream become reality for kids who had never imagined their education path would take them beyond high school.

CHEERS to parents who go bicycling, in-line skating and skateboarding with their children. We’ve seen you out on these spring weekends and warm evenings. We applaud exercising as a family; anything that gets kids outside is a good idea. But at the same time, we give a gentle JEER to adults on these expeditions who don’t wear helmets. No, adults are not required to wear helmets while biking, skating or skateboarding. But as a parent, you are a role model. You send two poor messages when you don’t wear a helmet: that helmets are something to avoid when the law allows and that you don’t care about your own safety. We reserve a firmer JEER for young adults who also don’t wear helmets while engaging in these activities . You also are role models, especially when it comes to coolness. Wear a helmet for the sake of the younger kids.

JEERS to parents and guardians who insist on staring at their smartphones while attending school concerts and sporting events. We’ve seen parents checking email and websites while at baseball games, texting during school plays and playing online games during concerts. Is it because your kid isn’t at bat right now? Is it because your child isn’t performing in this number? That’s not a good reason. Put the phone down and be there for your kids - and all the others who deserve attention from spectators.

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