Sixty years ago, as a young boy growing up in upstate New York, I didn't know that not going to college was an option. I grew up in a family of six, my father a self-employed shoemaker. Neither of my parents were college graduates. As a matter of fact, my father dropped out of high school to enlist in the Army. However, both my parents knew that college was in the future for all their children. They recognized and understood that graduating from high school and going to college was the ticket to a better life.
I'm sure that many people recognize this scenario but say that times have changed. College is not for everyone. But let's look back even further. In order to go to college you must graduate from high school. Do parents not want their children to have a high school education? I don't think so! Getting a good education takes commitment from everyone. Especially the student. But parents need to take an active role as well.
This past year at Park Terrace School, we challenged our kindergarten students to graduate from high school and go on to FMCC. If there were expenses not covered by financial aid, we pledged to meet them. This program is called FM Bound. Through this program we at Park Terrace will offer children literacy opportunities and activities to not only enrich their education, but create a positive mindset that college is the only option. The parents of these children have agreed to see that their children will graduate from high school in order to accomplish this goal.
For the next 13 years, this group of Park Terrace kindergarten students will participate in monthly FM Bound activities. The conduit that has been created between FM and Park Terrace will become a reality for these children with the support of FM faculty, Park Terrace faculty and most importantly the parents of these children.
We must ensure that our children graduate from high school and go FM Bound. To enable us to meet our pledge, our goal this year is to raise $10,000. All funds will be kept in an endowment at FM.
If you are interested in more information on FM Bound or you wish to contribute to FM Bound you can check out the Park Terrace website or call 775-5750 for more information.
STEPHEN J. PAVONE
Retired Park Terrace Principal