Friday, January 11, 2008

Student Voices

"I admire young people who are concerned with the affairs of their community and nation perhaps because I also became involved in struggle whilst I was still in school." ~ Nelson Mandela

Over the last week or two, I have become unusually intrigued so early in an upcoming Presidential election. I have written about youth voters and the need for our children to become active citizens. I cherish our Constitutional right to express our opinions and furthermore, if we wish, to turn our voices into action. I believe, however, that children, from the very young to those on the cusp of adulthood, all too often have their voices stifled and their ideas quashed, simply because they are kids. As adults, (whether we are parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, principals and sometimes even caring strangers) we can act as both their conduits and their cheerleaders. We can help them get their voices heard and their ideas turned into action by doing something as simple as listening.

I have found some very well intentioned organizations that are encouraging young people to speak, act and deliver. There are so many people involved in this important work. As I am compiling my own list, I have also stumbled upon the voices of some pretty articulate youth through their own comments and blogs. I will be adding a separate blogroll to emphasize the importance of their words. And on occasion I hope they chime in with their own thoughts.

My teenage daughter will be joining me occasionally me on this blog beginning in February to share her thoughts, opinions and ideas. As adult and teen, as parent and child, or as person to person, we will be engaging in dialogue, trying to understand each other's perspectives and stretching our minds to think hard about important issues - whether they be political, personal and everything in between. I am not sure what to expect but I look forward to sharing these pages with her.

..and since we can't have two drivers, at times, I'll give up my seat. She'll be the driver and I'll be the passenger in these Minivan Diaries.


Karoli said...

What a fabulous idea! I'm looking forward to it.

I love discussing the issues of the day with my kids. They always have something thoughtful to add that I haven't even considered. I just wish my daughter didn't think politics were "boring", especially in this election year. I hope I can convince her otherwise by the time the election rolls around. One of her reasons for viewing it thus is all of the negative ads on TV...she has zero tolerance for that.

Leslie said...

Maybe you can engage her through the comments and posts here -- it would be great to add her ideas to the mix. I'm hoping to hear from lots of youth... thanks for checking in.