The following is a speech given by Canielle Winch, who graduated from Stand University for Parents (Stand UP) last Wednesday.
My name is Canielle Winch, and for those who don't know me, I have two children. A beautiful six-year-old, who started kindergarten this year, and a handsome ten-year-old, who is in fourth grade this year. For these two and many other children out there, I want to see a better future. While my life has been a struggle to get through, theirs does not have to be. I want our children to grow up knowing that their education is the most important thing in their lives. To be a success in life, you must be a success in school. In order to ensure this happens, we as parents must stand up for them.
While I have a good relationship with my son's school, I cannot say the same for my daughter's school. My son's school promotes parents to communicate with the teachers and the school with phone calls and an online program for direct contact.
I do not feel that same openness with my daughter's school. While I have had few problems with my son's school, there seem to be more at my daughter's school. I find that teachers are not prepared to handle the behavior of thirty children at a time. I also see that there needs to be a school-wide structure set up with guidelines that are followed by all staff and students.
These things - and others that may go unnoticed - need to be changed. The Stand UP program has shown me that while I may just be one parent, my voice can and will be heard. I have been empowered by this program. I had no idea that I had access to make such a change in our children’s' lives. To help not only our children succeed but our schools as well. If we can better our schools, our children will have a better chance to succeed in life.
Following the completion of this program, I intend, with some of my fellow graduates, to continue working with our directors to make an immediate change in our neighborhood school. From there, we shall improve the schools all over the city. If we, as Stand UP members, can make a difference in our city, why not the state...why not the country? Stand UP works hard to fight for the success of your children, and I am honored to not only have partaken in this program, but to be a voice for Stand UP as well. I encourage others to take a stand for your children and make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. We are their voice and we can make a difference. Stand up for your children today.