Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

What an exciting week we have ahead of us. Today is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, commemorating the great life and work of the civil rights leader, who would've been 80 on January 15th. Tomorrow is the inauguration of our first African-American President, Barack Obama. And as always this month, it's National Mentoring Month!

Today, President-elect Obama has designated a National Day of Service. To that, I say "Hurray!" and am so happy that he is promoting giving back to the community. And of course, I must encourage you to turn this National Day of Service into a National Year of Service by becoming a tutor or mentor to an at-risk youth. What could be a better way of honoring Dr. King, who worked tirelessly to help elevate the situation of those who were in need, than to make the future brighter for a child who needs a brighter future.

Also, if you're reading this blog and want to write a guest blog about what mentoring means to you, just leave a comment, and I'll be delighted to have you contribute to my blog.

Finally, I thought you would all enjoy letters written by children to President-elect Obama. Some are funny, others show a wisdom beyond their years, and some are very sad. My favorite of course:

Dear Sir Obama,

These are the first 10 things you should do as president:

1. Make everyone read books.
2. Don’t let teachers give kids hard homework.
3. Make a law where kids only get one page of homework per week.
4. Kids can go visit you whenever they want.
5. Make volunteer tutors get paid.
6. Let the tutors do all the thinking.
7. Make universities free.
8. Make students get extra credit for everything.
9. Give teachers raises.
10. If No. 4 is approved, let kids visit the Oval Office, but don’t make it boring.

— Mireya Perez, age 8, San Francisco

Thanks Mireya Perez! I couldn't have said it better myself! Volunteer tutors do extraordinary work and I wish they could be paid! However, many tutoring and mentoring organizations are hurting for money right now for a variety of reasons. Even if you can't give your time to help the community, a donation to your local tutoring and mentoring organization would be an equally wonderful contribution to your community.

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