Ideas, Not Money, Keeps Kids in Class

Jul 19, 2011

More money is needed, but, Kentucky’s First Lady says at-risk students also need creativity.  Jane Beshear, who was in Richmond today for a conference on at-risk students, says teachers need to think outside the box. Beshear called on educators to be more creative. 

“More money is always important, but, that’s not the real issue. The issue is recognition, as early as possible of at-risk children, trying to surround them with the social services or opportunities, whether it’s a different time for school or whether it’s providing them with transportation.  Sometimes that’s an issue for them,” said Beshear.

Beshear, who was once a teacher herself, says the extra effort can keep a kid in school.

“You know, in other words, trying to figure out what we can do as educators to provide the educational services for these students that don’t fit into the traditional classroom. In some cases, maybe helping them find a job.  The community is, to me, a vital part of the solution for this,” said Beshear.

Beshear adds many of these students are bright and can excel, assuming a teacher can adapt to the child’s needs.

“Poverty is an issue in our at-risk kids, but, you’ll also find kids that are just bored.  You know, they are bright kids and they have potential.  There might be a learning disability that hasn’t been recognized and we’re doing a lot better in that, but, it’s still there in many of our children,” said Beshear.

The First Lady spoke at Eastern Kentucky University during a conference on at-risk students. Assisting at-risk students has been a long-standing priority for Beshear.