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Schools’ impact go deeper than just education: Editorial

Posted 8/23/17

From Penn State Harrisburg down to preschools and everywhere in between, school is back in session.

Are you one of the students heading to class? Maybe you are a parent, or grandparent, of one of …

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Schools’ impact go deeper than just education: Editorial

Posted

From Penn State Harrisburg down to preschools and everywhere in between, school is back in session.

Are you one of the students heading to class? Maybe you are a parent, or grandparent, of one of those students. Some of you have no current ties to the schools at all. 

If you are one who considers themselves in the latter group, we have news for you. Everyone in the community has ties to the schools. The impact that education — and, at the risk of sounding cold and dispassionate, the “industry of education” — has in our community is deep and broad.

It goes without saying how important that learning is in any community. 

When newcomers with children look to move into a community, the quality of the schools is one of the most important factors. A solid educational base leads to an employable group of residents that is important for businesses.

As we’ve covered many times before, the impact — for the positive, despite the complaints of many in our area — that Penn State Harrisburg has on the community is a huge plus for us, and one that we should embrace. Editorial board member/columnists Susannah Gal outlines some of those points in her monthly column below.

Those students come from around the nation and the world to attend the biggest Penn State campus outside of State College. They become a part of our community, spend their money here, learn about life, and make memories that will last a lifetime. We still think there is a long way to go for both sides to take advantage of what each has to offer.

But it goes much deeper than that. 

Our local school districts employs hundreds upon hundreds of people, not just teachers, but support staff. People are needed to clean schools, to drive buses, to serve food.

There are many thankless jobs to do, like the crossing guards who keep the kids safe but rarely get recognition. We recognize in a story elsewhere in the paper today one such longtime crossing guard, Harry Hicks, who did his job for 20 years before wrapping up after last school year.

Our young people are learning in the classroom in the Middletown Area and Lower Dauphin school districts. But the extracurriculars can’t be ignored.

Yes, sports get the bulk of the attention, and when the sports team had a season like last year in the Middletown district, that attention is warranted.

But look at groups such as the band, that David Barr wrote about in last week’s Press & Journal.  Its members are out in the heat, going through their paces as well. The band members are learning about commitment, hard work and teamwork. There are plenty of other clubs, sports and student activities that are active as well.

All those students, be it Penn State or elementary school, have to get to class. So yes, you see more cars around the Penn State campus. You see more buses on the road.

Just remember what the end result is: a stronger community, with better-educated, hard-working residents.

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