By Tenisha Spencer
The Meridian Star
Summer vacation has come to an end and Meridian and Lauderdale County students are back in the classroom – thus, a new beginning.
Let’s take a moment and look at the word “beginning.” According to Webster's Dictionary, "beginning" means “the point in time or space at which something starts.” Now that you have an understanding of the word, take a moment to reflect on your life and the many beginnings you have experienced. What does beginning mean to you? How often do you begin something?
Many of you will conclude that each and every day of your lives is a new day – a new BEGINNING. So, as students begin another school term, I challenge everyone – students, parents, teachers, coaches, community leaders, family, friends, administrators and the entire community – to join together and make sure our kids have the best academic year ever!
First, I challenge you to routinely express the value of education in the privacy of your homes. Remind our students that a strong educational background promotes growth and increases one’s accessibility to the many resources necessary to be successful in life. For example, great educational accomplishments have often resulted in great leaders within our communities. Indeed, the best leaders of the world today are those who performed well in classroom.
Second, I challenge you to encourage the students of Meridian and Lauderdale County that individuality plays an essential role in academic success. In other words, our students must understand that everyone is responsible for his or her choices or decisions. Simply put, setting goals which involve academic success must be a personal interest. Each student has to have a determined mind with an appetite for success.
As members of the community, let us make sure our kids are surrounded by more positivity and less negativity in an effort to promote success among our youth. When they do well, let’s tell them “great job.” On the other hand, when there is room for improvement, let us work together in making sure the proper resources are available to get them to the expected levels of performance. Indeed, it is a community effort, but “together” we can make it happen.
Finally, as we approach this year’s beginning, I challenge you to encourage the students of Meridian and Lauderdale County to become a 4-H member. Many may ask, “How does being a 4-H member promote academic success?” or “What does 4-H have to do with academics?"
With our organizational goal of “making the better best,” 4-H agents help kids in developing the skills needed to perform exceedingly well in life. This includes academic performances as well. In other words, the skills 4-Her’s learn can also be applied to classroom performance.
Above all, 4-H programs promote citizenship, leadership and personal development. With 4-H's motto “To make the best better” and slogan “Learn by doing,” I believe many opportunities are available that will aid our students in having a successful academic year.
So, please don’t hesitate to come by our office – located on the fifth floor of the Lauderdale County Courthouse Annex Building – and enroll in our 4-H program. Or, you can call me at (601) 482-9764.
As always, we are always trying “To make the best better.”
• Tenisha Spencer is 4-H agent for the Lauderdale County Extension Service.