Community involvement is key to teaching the 21st Century Skill

By Diane Hermann Blakley

I recently had the pleasure of attending the National School Board Association Conference in Orlando. This conference helped to assure me that our schools need to teach the core subjects, but must also address the 21st Century Skills.

These skills include problem solving, critical thinking, media literacy, global awareness, collaboration skills and civic leadership. The skills students need today are fundamentally different from what was needed 20 years ago.

Teaching our students 21st Century Skills is essential to our nation’s economic success. Our nation cannot afford to have ANY of our students not reach their full potential. The demand on our workforce in upcoming years will require all our students to be well taught. This Rochester School Board, along with Superintendent Romain Dallemand, is committed to closing the opportunity gap.

We need to engage all of our youth in their communities and engage adults in the lives of our youth. We as a school board are working to engage students into becoming productive citizens within our community and our country.


Parental and community involvement is the key to this process. Parents need to find the time to spend quality time with their children. Positive adult-child interaction increases student achievement, reduces substance abuse, creates responsibility, and respect.

At this time of year our schools are looking for parents to become leaders in the school community for the upcoming year. We need PTSA positions filled, Volunteer in Education coordinators, volunteers to assist with student learning, media center helpers, and youth mentors.

Please find a few hours a month to help shape our community by working with our youth. Every child is a gift to our community. ALL children can learn, and with the leadership of our schools, parents, and community, we can make this happen. We will all be blessed because of our actions.

Hermann Blakley is a member of the Rochester School Board. Send comments to

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