All of us can benefit from some ‘reality’

Published 12:45 pm Friday, March 17, 2017

So many things in life are difficult to learn in a classroom. So we appreciate efforts by the Clark County Public Schools to teach students about the ups and downs of the real world.

Baker Intermediate, in partnership with the Schools to Careers Community Education grant program and the Clark County 4-H, did just that by hosting a “reality fair” Wednesday.

The hands-on lessons focused on budgeting, responsible spending and prioritizing needs over wants.

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Although this short exercise only scratched the surface, these are critically important lessons — ones many of us could benefit from if we are being truly honest with ourselves — that will serve these youth for years to come, long after they have left the classrooms.

As our public education system has shifted more and more focus to standardized testing, traditional life skills programs like home economics, wood shop and auto shop have been de-emphasized or even eliminated from public schools.

Certainly, much of the responsibility for educating in these areas falls on parents, but it is encouraging to see programs within the schools to help develop these skills and reinforce the message.

With so much conversation in recent weeks about charter schools and the need for specialized education programs, it is encouraging to see something like this when it comes to redefining education and serving students’ needs.

No one can dispute the importance of the “Three Rs” — reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic — that have long been the foundation of our educational programs, but that does not marginalize the value of special offerings like this that are designed to at least give students a taste of the skills that can help them succeed in life.