A Letter From a Title I Parent

My Title I Experience

A letter to you from another Title I parent

A few years ago, one of my five kids came home with a letter, entitled, "Title I," followed by a brief invitation for him to participate in a special reading program. At the time, I did not know what Title I meant, who qualified, why my child was asked to join, or why my oldest son hadn't previously been asked to participate in such a seemingly great program!

You see, my oldest son, as with most busy boys, had trouble learning to read. I pursued help for him, but the only assistance I was offered was possibly enrolling him in Special Education. However, he didn't even qualify for Special Education since he had passing grades and had no behavioral deterrents to learning. There was no program to help my border-line, but well-deserving, son.

At the time, my oldest son attended a school that did not qualify for Title 1. As you may know, Title I funding is granted based on the percentage of free and reduced lunches provided. However, once the qualifying school has been awarded the "grant," any child needing the extra assistance Title I has to offer, can qualify. Because our subdivision fell under re-districting a couple of years ago, our kids were moved to a school qualifying for Title I assistance. Hence, my next oldest son had the advantage my oldest son never got - extra special attention and guidance, and a vote of confidence he would have never gotten without Title I. This same child went from not passing his SOLs, to being placed in the highest math class when he moved to middle school this year.

I now have another child enrolled in Title I. This same son, last summer, told his grandfather that he, "hated reading, and didn't see the point in it." This school year, he is reading two to three chapter books at the same time. He wants to go to the library, and he looks forward to finding new books and learning about new adventures. I've often picked him up from school and watched him walk to the car while trying to read a book at the same time. Just a couple of weeks ago, he asked me if he could take a flashlight to bed with him so that he could finish a book he had started reading earlier that day. He went from hating to read to a read-aholic!

At this point, I don't care how our school qualified for Title I...I just know that my kids have been positively and forever impacted by it. If you get a letter like I did, don't hesitate to let your child participate. Giving your child every advantage available is what good parent should do! Take advantage! Enjoy Title I as I have over the last few years. You'll never regret your decision...I haven't! And, neither have my children!