The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 26, 2013

Learning life skills

---- — If someone were to read all the newspaper articles that have been written about the lack of achievement by the students who attend the Chief Shikellamy Elementary School, you might think that nothing positive is happening there. As I witnessed from a personal experience there recently, nothing could be further from the truth.

Ask anyone who attended the third and fourth grade choral concert there on March 20 and they will tell you about the caring, love and warmth that could be felt between the students and their parents and others who proudly displayed their pride in their students' musical accomplishments.

Achievement test scores reflect student progress in academic subjects. Life skills, which will be very important in these students' future lives, can only be learned by exposure to people from diverse backgrounds, and they cannot be measured by achievement tests.

It was refreshing to see these students of such diversity achieving and learning together, as well as enjoying each others friendship at the same time. Test scores are certainly important, but they don't paint the whole picture.

President Clinton has often been called America's first black president because of his ability to mix with African American people so easily, and he learned that skill when he was attending school with them.

Unfortunately, there are many students in this area that are not having an opportunity to develop necessary life skills like those that are being learned by the students who attend the Chief Shikellamy Elementary School.

David L. Faust, Selinsgrove