July 3, 2009

Yook: Batting For Books

Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids is working with the City of Boston and the Red Sox to collect more than 100,000 books for the Boston public school system*.

The "Batting for Books" campaign will collect new or slightly-used books at each of Fenway Park's five gates on Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12.

Yook (which does not rhyme with book):
Our schools' libraries are in desperate need of new books, and without spending a dime, contributors to the book drive will be able to directly support the reading skills and overall education of our city’s children.
Books for the 56,000 kids (pre-kindergarten through grade 12) in the school system are also being collected at all Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

All titles are welcome, but Boston Public Schools has also compiled a recommended list of titles for the libraries.

12 comments:

redsock said...

It's a shame that cities like Boston cannot provide the books and other essential elements for good public education, and that the job is left to charities and people's good will.

L-girl said...

Yook will be cheered for this like he is a hero, which is fine, but the necessity of this venture is evidence of a massive failure.

The federal government no longer properly funds cities, a fact of American life since the Reagan years.

Everyone who can afford to sends their kids to private schools, and the public schools are left to rely on charities and privatization.

We often hear of well-off players building ball fields or schools in their native countries, like the Dominican Republic. This is no different.

LJCohen said...

Part of the problem is the funding mechanism for most US school districts is based on an inherently unequal base: local real estate taxes.

Add to that the national mandates from "No Child Left Behind" and you have federal spending mandates and local income.

If you happen to live in a wealthy suburb, you have access to some amazing public schools. If you live in a less well off area, too bad.

redsock said...

Everyone wants safe roads and fire departments and snow removal and new books and other essential things for their kids' education, yet a political suggesting that maybe raising taxes would bring in more money is scripting his/her own downfall.

Meanwhile, the US is spening $12 billion in Iraq every month. Toss in Afghanistan and it's $16 billion per month.

According to "The Three Trillion Dollar War" by Joseph E. Stiglitz (Nobel Prize-winning economist) and Linda J. Bilmes (former Commerce Department official and a professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

9casey said...

L-girl said...

Everyone who can afford to sends their kids to private schools, and the public schools are left to rely on charities and privatization.


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Is there something missing here, the private schools do most of the fund raising themselves, and also pay town or city taxes..most schools public and private rely on the charity of others the same thing with feeding the homeless, and other charities, most of the private High schools in my area are major supporters and volunteers at the local soup kitchens.....this isn't just a school problem....

I think a lot of major cities are doing a lot more to help the public schools these days , they feed most of the children 2 good meals a day, sadly a number of the children only go to school for this reason...and we all have friends that are teachers in the public system, i believe a lot of them would say the biggest problem isn't the books, parents are ...

L-girl said...

9C, I'm not sure what you're getting at. Children need decent schools in which to learn, no matter what their parents do or don't do. Teachers can't teach without proper classroom size, books and equipment (and salaries). No amount of parental involvement or teaching can make up for under-funded schools.

L-girl said...

LJCohen sums up the bottom line.

A group in NYC sued the state for discrimination, arguing that funding schools in wealthy counties more than those in low-income counties violates citizens' equal rights.

THEY WON.

But the state has refused to act on the court's order.

When I said "Everyone who can afford to sends their kids to private schools" I was referring to urban communities, the kinds of schools this books program is aiding.

9casey said...

L-girl said...
No amount of parental involvement or teaching can make up for under-funded schools.




I disagree....
Because for a lot of us who grew up poor the one thing that got some of us to where we are today , great teachers and quailty parental involvement..

L-girl said...

But all children deserve a quality education, whether or not their parents are able to be involved.

If a child's parents themselves had a poor education, or if they are swamped economically, or have other issues, that child still needs and deserves a quality education.

Of course parental involvement matters, but you're actually saying good parenting can make up for bad schooling, in terms of future educational and career opportunities?

Parents can't be expected to do that, nor should they have to.

I include great teachers in the overall education picture. Great teachers have to be trained, well paid and have manageable classroom sizes. Teachers can't teach and kids can't learn in a class of 40 kids. And class size is all down to funding.

9casey said...

L-girl said...
But all children deserve a quality education, whether or not their parents are able to be involved.



Of course parental involvement matters, but you're actually saying good parenting can make up for bad schooling, in terms of future educational and career opportunities?

Parents can't be expected to do that, nor should they have to.





Have to? that's my job. It's my job to make sure the school and the teachers all do their jobs....Just for full disclosure my kids go to a private catholic school....my daughters classroom has 32 kids in a 1st grade class...I think that is too many...But she learned A LOT, the lessons continue from school right to home....I believe, if my kids don't learn what they are supposed, it's my fault , and If you wait for the gov't to do it, you will be waiting a long time.....

L-girl said...

"Have to? that's my job."

No it's not. Your job is to be their parent. That is not the same thing as a child going to school every day, learning math, reading, learning how to learn, being socialized.

If it were the same thing, no one would need school.

It's excellent that you take your job as a parent so seriously, but you cannot provide your children with an adequate education without adequate schools.

"I believe, if my kids don't learn what they are supposed, it's my fault"

It's an admirable idea, but with respect, I suggest you are exaggerating the control you can have over your children's lives, especially as they get older.

As they get older, the quality of their education will come into play no matter what you do or believe.

"If you wait for the gov't to do it, you will be waiting a long time....."

Public schools are not "the government". They are funded by the people - you and me - taxpayers - and are run by regular people, not the government. I went to public schools and I never saw "the government" there.

And yes, 32 kids in a class is WAY too many.

johngoldfine said...

I'm glad Youkilis lends his name to something like this, but I agree with Allan's original point.

Reading is basic, and if the schools can't provide interesting books for the students to read in school, the bureaucrats have utterly failed in their responsibility. Good books' presence should not be dependent on charity.