While out walking our dogs, Tott and Stella, I was thinking about how much speech matters. Tott and Stella instinctively know the difference between the frustrated bark of Sam, who spends too much time fenced in his back yard, and the happy bark of Scrappy, a large and friendly puppy.
My thoughts turned to speech and speeches because of how wearying all the political speeches become during the seemingly-never-ending- every-four-year-presidential-election campaign cycle. But then I hear a gem…a speech that champions the parents of this country, particularly parent volunteers, and I have to smile. In a campaign season in which there has been little focus on education by any of the candidates, my heart leapt a little when parents and parent volunteers got a little attention at this summer’s political conventions.
Michelle Obama recognized parents in her speech at the Democratic National Convention when she pointed out that we move our country forward “by all of us coming together on behalf of our children – folks who volunteer to coach that team, to teach that Sunday school class because they know it takes a village.” Wow! She noticed that #parentvolunteersmatter! And regardless of where the words came from, Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, in her speech at the Republican National Convention, stated “we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.” I’m thrilled that parent volunteers got some well-deserved recognition!
You see, speech and speeches matter because they are so often repeated. Who doesn’t know Lincoln’s famous “fourscore and seven years ago,” Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” and John F. Kennedy’s “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”?
I hope the words of Obama and Trump are repeated often to acknowledge parent volunteers and all they do for our children, our schools and our nation. Because #parentboostersmatter.