Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Awful Stats

I'm back.

Whew! The time flew by, until yesterday, when I traveled for 20 straight hours to get home in one day (well, it actually lapped over into the next day.) That's a story for another post.

As always the other guests were part of the fun.

We first met Nancy and Russ from Chicago on our boat trip down the Sierpe River. They were on the boat for a bird watching trip and then made a detour to pick us up at the small boat dock. The next day, Nancy and Russ spent the day at San Josecito beach with Steve and me. We spent time getting to know each other and we hiked to the next beach (about a twenty minute jaunt and then swam up the Rio Claro River to a special spot that we know about. After a short climb we showed them a very beautiful grotto and waterfall. We don't show this to everyone, just special people!

But what I will remember forever is a conversation that Nancy and I had about her volunteer efforts with her dog in the inner city of Chicago. The dog is a mutt, but a well-trained mutt, because he helps the children in this program to learn to read better by just being a dog. Nancy said that many times a child will jump two grade levels in reading during the eight weeks in the program.

That's great, but here is the part that touched me. She said that those who plan for future prison needs, look at the number of illiterate third graders today (or whenever they are doing the planning) and then interpolate that into the number of prison cells they will need in the future.

Illiterate third graders of today, become prisoners of tomorrow.

Talk about investing in the future and making a long term commitment to our communities.

This conversation with Nancy happened on the very first day of vacation, but I can tell you that it will ring in my heart for many years to come.

Thanks, Nancy, for making a difference.

I have plenty more to share. But tell me, how do you think we can change these statistics?

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