School is not just about test scores

Dr. Lane Abrell Superintendent of Plainfield School District 202 | 2/22/2017, 3:56 p.m.
It’s been said many times before, but I will say it again: school is not just about test scores. Children ...

It’s been said many times before, but I will say it again: school is not just about test scores.

Children learn what they live, and they live what they learn. Along with science, math, English, social studies, etc., District 202 students also learn to be good members of the community by valuing and respecting diversity, working well with others and being active problem solvers.

Our schools and teachers also teach this important life lesson by supporting those who need a little extra help, who are often times our own neighbors, though we may never know it.

Charitable giving and community service has been a part of the fabric of District 202 for many years. Our students and staff routinely participate in a wide variety of regular and special events and programs to raise and donate money, clothing and food or to provide “helping hands” through volunteerism.

Among many other examples, just in the last few months:

· All four of our high school girl’s soccer teams took part in the “Buddy’s Helpers” event as part of National Random Acts of Kindness week.

· The Plainfield East High School Bengalette dance teams made and donated 145 Valentine cards for the children at La Rabida Children’s Hospital.

· Eagle Pointe Elementary School students made 300 Valentine’s Day cards for military veterans.

· Liberty Elementary School students made fleece blankets for the “Project Linus” organization.

· The Plainfield High School Hockey Team placed wreaths on veterans’ gravestones at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois for Wreaths across America.

· Grand Prairie Elementary School students in Kari Beck’s fifth grade class raised and donated $400 to the “Feed My Starving Children” organization. (Several of our schools have also volunteered at and donated to this wonderful group.)

• The Plainfield High School-Central Campus Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) bought and gave holiday gifts to 35 families through its 24th annual Christmas drive. Participants included Lincoln Elementary School teachers and staff; Ira Jones and Indian Trail Middle Schools teachers and staff; PHSCC teachers, staff and student council; and the District 202 Student Services and Curriculum and Instruction Departments.

Additionally, many of our schools will participate in the annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation head shaving events this spring to raise money to help fight childhood cancer. Likewise, all of our high schools have several community service-oriented student groups that volunteer throughout the year.

Initiatives like these require a lot of hard work by our staff that goes far beyond their regular teaching obligations. I am deeply proud of their spirit of service and dedication.

Equally important, though is that our children learn that there is more to life – and to school, for that matter – than simply learning a skill or getting a job.

We are defined not only by what we know and do for a living, but also by how we serve and support those around us. District 202 is a diverse community representing the “real world” in which our children will one day live and work. We are helping them learn now the value and importance of being a contributing part of that world.

In this way and many others, together, we will continue to prepare learners for the future.