Programs continue to inspire

Published 10:17 am Saturday, November 16, 2013

Amidst a swirl of negativity surrounding the Franklin City Public Schools, the success of the Franklin robotics team – and now the LEGO League team at S.P. Morton Elementary – is nothing short of refreshing. This past spring, the Franklin robotics team won the Virginia regional championship and was able to compete in the world championships in St. Louis. The Lego program, having just won their regional event in Chesterfield, will soon be off to Harrisonburg to compete for a state championship of their own. That we have such bright young minds at work and play in this community should not just be a source of pride, but of hope and inspiration as well.

It has been easy of late to find much to be critical of when it comes to our schools, so much so that some have even questioned whether the school children themselves are capable of learning and competing. The kids on these teams, as well as those that mentor and teach them, are living proof that they can do both.

There are no easy answers when it comes to improving school performance, but these programs are teaching us a very valuable lesson: when students are placed in an environment where their passions are matched with an opportunity to explore them in a learning environment, they excel.

As a school system and as a community, we should take a long hard look at ways to make available more programs like the robotics and LEGO League teams. Each child has a passion, and each has the ability to learn. If we could just find a way to provide each child with the opportunity to explore their passion in a learning environment, the results would likely be astonishing.