LETTER: Let’s celebrate academic success, too

To the editor:

What the Mountain Ridge Little League baseball team accomplished and experienced was a dream come true. Most children who have or will play at that level wish they could have such an experience. Four of my five children, including one daughter, played through the high school and college levels. Two were injured, ending their college careers early. The other two had good college careers, made some all-star teams, and one earned All-America status. He also was drafted and played three years in the minor leagues.

So I am far from anti-sports, and obviously we are a baseball family. However, was it necessary for a parade, to throw out the first pitch and all the other celebrations that went with it? Wasn’t it enough that these kids experienced something at the state, regional and national level? Few have ever had such moments.

Imagine if we did parades and the like every year to those who graduate from our high schools, make honor rolls, earn scholarships. Some of these students might be the first in their families to get that far, and they might have had to endure pressures, bullying and more, for working hard and achieving. Imagine what all those kids must think as they watched the parade and all the other celebrations for the Little League team.

This is why America continues to fall behind other nations academically, because we place so much value on athletic achievement and fail to recognize academic successes. We talk a lot about academic success, but we don’t follow up on it. As a former school psychologist, I can’t tell you how many times I met with parents concerned about their child’s academic skills. All I heard from them, though, is what a good athlete their child is. Not, “How can I help?”

All that said, again, I congratulate Mountain Ridge for its achievement.



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