April 2, 2014 | APRIL 2014 | Volume 8, Iss

Every child deserves the opportunity to go to school

We are fortunate to live in a country where education is considered a top priority. We are even more blessed to live in a community where our children are given the opportunity to go to schools where they are safe and can receive a top-notch education.

Within the pages of this newspaper we see many stories of local kids and their accomplishments at and through local schools.

The same is not true for many children around the world.

According to Results.org, “While U.S. school children count down the days until spring break, roughly 57 million primary school-aged girls and boys around the world are not attending school at all. In places like South Sudan, a young woman is more likely to die in childbirth than she is to finish eighth grade. And even among those students who do make it into a classroom every year, many still struggle with basic reading, writing, and counting skills. According to just-released UN data, a staggering total of 250 million girls and boys—nearly 40 percent of the world’s children of primary school age—still cannot read.”

These are sad statistics but are statistics that we can help change and one young, Pakistani girl even got shot trying to change them herself.

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

She was shot in the head by the Taliban while on her way to school on Tuesday, October 9, 2012. She was only 14-years-old.

In a New York Times article on October 9, 2012 it states, “’She symbolizes the brave girls of Swat,’ said Samar Minallah, a documentary filmmaker who has worked among Pashtun women. ‘She knew her voice was important, so she spoke up for the rights of children. Even adults didn’t have a vision like hers.’”

How many of us would risk death for the right to an education? Not many I assume.

Our children, and we as parents and adults, are blessed to have the educational opportunities that we have. Yes, college is expensive but it won’t cost us our life, at least not here in America and especially not here in Western Washington.

My hope is that we not only appreciate the opportunities we have to broaden our educational horizons but to also become a voice for those around the world who don’t get to experience the joys of walking into a school room or picking up a book and reading it without hesitation.

There are organizations who can take your donations including The Malala Fund at malalfund.org.

You can also write to your congressmen and women and ask them to consider helping children in other countries receive an education.

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