Winston Churchill once said, "The price of greatness is responsibility." And he would know. During his lifetime, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill had many responsibilities. A respected leader and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, an aristocrat, a father, a husband and an artist. He is the only British Prime Minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature and was the first person to be made an Honorary Citizen of the United States. He is best known for his exemplary leadership and dogged patriotism during World War II. Without question, Winston Churchill was a great man who wore many hats and shouldered many burdens.
While life in modern day Encinitas and Carlsbad is exponentially easier than wartime England, we still shoulder our fair share of personal responsibilities. As parents, we not only serve as the leaders of our households, we also inadvertently play the role of chauffeur, coach, tutor, chef, motivational speaker, nurse/doctor, social secretary, and even on occasion therapist, diplomat and referee. And today, in these economic times, we also hold the additional roles of advocate, legislator and protector of our children's educational future. As budget cuts have come down from the national and state levels, parents in Encinitas and southern Carlsbad have been waiting to see how they will affect our children. Class sizes as high as 27 students per lower grade classrooms and over 30 per upper grade classrooms next year. Categorical funds and budgets have been . Many schools will be loosing (or drastically reducing) valuable consultants for reading, technology, science and even the media centers. It all comes down to money. But the bottom line is that it is our children's educations at stake.
To echo Winston Churchill's famous line, "We have not yet begun to fight." And today is the day that we begin. Today is Friday May 18 and the first day of a new EUSD initiative called "Friday Floods." The thought is to flood our local representatives with emails and calls letting them know that we value our children and want more resources to ensure a quality education for all. This measure is supported by both the EUSD Board of Directors and all nine PTA Units. They are asking all parents, community members and business owners to join in "The Flood." If we work together, we can make the biggest impact and hopefully the biggest difference in the final outcome.
The district is also organizing an "Educate Me" Town Hall Meeting at Flora Vista Elementary School, Wednesday, May 30 from 6 to 8pm. Crystal Brown from Educate Our State will be there to led a discussion about current state and local budget cuts. Again, this is sponsored by the EUSD Board and the local PTAs. EUSD intends to work collectively to help parents understand the gravity of pending budget cuts and the impact they will have on our children and community, at large. By working as a unified team, they hope to allow all of us to speak for every child, with one voice and hopefully with the desired result.
But legislative measures does not have to be all talk and meetings. El Camino Creek Elementary School (ECC) is hosting a community carnival this afternoon (Friday, May 18) from 4 to 7:00 p.m. to help secure the future of their educational consultants. Admission is free and open to the public. A $20 wrist band gets you unlimited use of 14 attractions for three hours. Tickets can be purchased at $1 each for individual attractions, carnival games, food and the ever-popular cake walk. Locally grown strawberries, Sharkeez Italian Ice, Midnight Tacos, Allen's Pizza and more will also be available for purchase. It is events like these in which we realize that there is more at stake that what meets the eye in terms of our local schools. Yes, the students of El Camino Creek and hopefully other local residents will be enjoying an afternoon of fun and community spirit. But underneath those smiles, it a very serious cause. The school needs $20,000 to keep all of their current consultants for next year. If they succeed, ECC students will continue to receive necessary extras such as technology, music and science. If they don't, the quality and caliber of those student's education is at stake. And ECC is not alone in their quest. Other schools in the district are faced with similar financial responsibilities and hard decisions to make.
But it doesn't have to be that way. All our children are asking you to do is to shoulder this great burden together. Individually, we can't change the course of history. But together we have a fighting chance. Do your part. Stay educated on upcoming initiative, write to your local representative, attend the upcoming meetings, and even bring your family out to enjoy a fun afternoon of carnival games and FUNraising. Your one action makes more of a difference than you might realize. After all, if one great man can keep England safe and hopeful during the dark days of war. Just think what an entire community can do for the sake of our children.