Sumter School Board; education in general


Of special note on this page today is the Editorial on the right titled, "Solid choices for school board."

Since 2011, the Sumter School District Board has been through consolidation, a controversial unknown superintendent followed by what turned out to be a controversial known superintendent, and the still ongoing financial turmoil. That's a lot for any public body to endure in just a few years.

As our Editorial concludes: "Not only the community, but also the young minds that deserve the best public education that Sumter can offer are more than ready for a new beginning. Let's all of us pull together and make it happen."

On a related note is William Brunson's Letter to the Editor below titled, "Parental involvement most important factor in education."

The Sumter native makes a great point: "Teachers know that the most problematic and/or underachieving students often have parents who seldom, if ever, meet with them in conference."

Solving that will be difficult, and it will likely take greater involvement from caring members of the community via mentor programs and volunteer efforts.

Staying with the education theme, Sumter Item reporter Bruce Mills brings the community up to date on Central Carolina Technical College's new offerings.

To keep up with the ever-changing workplace, Central Carolina Technical College is set to roll out four new certificate programs when the fall semester begins Aug. 22.

Two of the four new programs are in the accounting and business management department.

The Entrepreneurship/Small Business Management Certificate is designed for people seeking to start their own small business, according to Program Manager Len Hopkins.

A Supervision and Leadership Foundations Certificate has also been designed to help individuals develop specific management and supervisory skills to apply to the business world.

In the health sciences division, the Patient Care Technician Certificate is a new yearlong program that replaces three separate certificates - nursing assistant, phlebotomy and cardiac care - that the college previously offered through a grant.

The Web Development Certificate program is the fourth new program that will be added at the college.

The 36-hour program is designed for individuals with the desire to develop the necessary skills to be an entry-level worker on the web, design and support field.

Finally this week, The Wall Street Journal's Saturday Essay by Bruce Handy explores, "The Grown-Up Joys of Reading Children's Books." Give a child a book.

We are living through an extended golden age for children's books, a product of America's astonishing prosperity-and growing child-centeredness-in the long postwar era. Think of the roster of brand-name authors, from Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak and Beverly Cleary to Eric Carle, Judy Blume, Jacqueline Woodson and on and on. Or visit the section for new picture books at your local library or bookstore, where an ever-lengthening shelf of tomorrow's classics brings together ingenious storytelling and dazzling art.

That creativity has been rewarded. For more than a decade, growth in children's book sales has substantially outpaced the rest of the publishing industry. Parents are buying the books to entertain and edify their offspring, of course, but the vitality of the children's book market has another cause that parents aren't always ready to acknowledge: We love the books too, and in the best of them, find many of the same satisfactions that we find in adult literature. The stories may be simpler, but that doesn't make them simple-minded. We all know adults who read and reread the Harry Potter series, but many older classics, even books for the very young, offer similar rewards, as parents who read them aloud at bedtime have happily discovered for generations.

Notable & Quotable is compiled by Graham Osteen. Contact him at