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SAMPLE LETTER TO ILLINOIS Interim
School Board Superintendent Christopher Koch


Date

Dr. Christopher Koch
Interim State Superintendent
Illinois State Board of Education
100 N 1st Street
Springfield, IL 62777

Dear Superintendent Koch,

Parents are our first teachers, and yet they receive no training. Why is that?

Wouldn’t it further the cause of educating Illinois youth, to have their first teachers, their parents, arriving for the first day of their jobs with their “parenting diplomas” in hand?

The easiest way to reach ALL Illinois potential parents is to prepare future parents – to provide child-rearing classes for children and teens.

Recent research has taught us how early experiences shape children’s physical and mental growth. We learned how different parenting practices influence children’s development and behavior. Why not impart this knowledge to children and teenagers before most of them become parents? Why not prepare them to raise physically and mentally healthy children?

Parenting classes can address issues of abuse and neglect which can cause permanent neurological damage that impairs the ability to concentrate, to reason, to control impulses, to empathize with others and learn from the consequences of behavior.

To help improve the academic performance of tomorrow’s children and schools, Illinois potential parents need to know that everyday interactions with children zero to three can be extremely powerful in shaping language development, reading and the learning capacity of their future children.

Parenting preparation can enhance the capacity for nurturing and maintaining healthy relationships among today’s children and teens, preventing violence and teen pregnancy.. Currently Family and Consumer Science teachers across Illinois teach child development and parenting to Illinois middle school and high school students in only a smattering of classrooms.

Knowledge is power, and there is arguably no human endeavor in which its application is so fitting and so crucial. Parenting preparation will make a significant difference in the ways future parents raise their children.

We are proud of our state’s efforts to provide universal pre-school for Illinois children. Add parenting education in the schools and perhaps we’ll save some Illinois children from being broken before they even get to preschool.

Superintendent Koch, we ask you to begin plans to provide parenting education for all students in our schools sometime before they graduate from high school. As a beginning, we encourage you to visit www.PrepareTomorrowsParents.org where you can find out more about what is being done throughout the nation to prepare tomorrow’s parents.

Sincerely,


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