This was not what I had planned for today’s Pour Your Heart Out Post. However, my internet has been down since Monday. With no internet (oh, the horror!), I decided to clean out all my folders on my external drive. I found this “letter” to the president. Now, I didn’t decide one night to just write an off the wall letter to the president; this was an assignment for my Child Psychology class. The assignment was to write a letter to the president and suggest at least 3 policy changes, based on research, which would increase the health and safety of the country’s children. I chose education, nutrition, vehicle safety, and firearms.
** PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT DEBATE YOUR POLITICAL BELIEFS HERE! **
Dear Mr. President,
America’s children are the future of our country. Their education, health and safety should be a primary focus of our government. Some policy changes that should be focused on are education, nutrition and exercise, automobile safety and firearm safety.
Education is a vital key for our children. It appears that in the last few years, the focus of education has shifted from promoting learning to teaching enough in order to pass a standardized test. Evidence of this decline in our education system is shown by the increase in numbers of home schooling families. Our children should have the desire to learn all the time; not just enough to pass a test. All schools should incorporate both the constructivist and instructivist learning approaches in order to foster a long – lasting desire to learn. Another concern in our schools is bullying. Bullying affects our children’s self esteem and overall psychological well – being. Anti-bullying programs need to be implemented in our schools. There needs to be stiffer punishments for those who do bully. These children need to know that bullying is not an acceptable behavior and will not be tolerated in our schools. There also needs to be programs in place to help those children overcome their aggression in order to help eliminate bullying.
I am excited about The First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” program. Childhood obesity is a major concern in our country. In a 2008 study, 38% of our country’s youth aged 2-19 years old are at risk for being overweight. This same study revealed that 16% of our youth are overweight and 11% are obese. This means 65% of our youth are obese, overweight or at risk for being overweight! The United States has the 2nd highest rate of childhood obesity. I feel this is not acceptable for our youth. All parents need to have access to health and nutrition education. Organic and wholesome foods need to be made more accessible to all income families. Sometimes, buying pre-packaged foods with all the additives is cheaper than the organic and healthier way. Physical activity needs to be encouraged and available in all schools.
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in young children. The government needs to promote child safety seat policies. Safe child and booster seats should be made available for lower-income families. There should be child safety seat installation clinics on a regular basis. There should also be stiffer penalties for child restraint violations. Parents should be held more liable for these potentially fatal decisions.
According to a research study, firearms are the 7th leading cause of young children. Our country has the highest rate of firearm related deaths among children less than 15 years old. As a country, we need to promote firearm safety. Safety classes should be offered for parents, child care providers (both in-home day cares and regular baby sitters) as well as to our youth.
We, as a united country, need to promote education, health and safety to our children. After all, our future begins with them.
If you had the chance to write a letter to the President suggesting policy changes for the welfare of our children, what topics would you cover?