Schools Improve When Parents Care

I wanted to share this short story that Rob Kirkbride, a Grand Rapids walker and blogger, wrote about my daughter, Kimberly Kelly Waalkes. Yes, it makes me very proud of how Kim prioritizes her time, but it also makes a very good case for where to start if we really want to improve our public schools. – Dick

Day 145 – 8.06 miles (965.17 total)

I am constantly amazed by the number of people who give of themselves, who volunteer and help the community with little or no fanfare. I walked with one of those people today.

I first met Kim Waalkes at City High School, where my son, Liam and her daughter, Erika are entering sophomore year in high school. She seemed to be everywhere — PTSA meetings, helping at school functions like the annual City High auction and other school events and meetings.

Simply put, she is one of those parents that you want volunteering at your kid’s school. This year, Kim will be president of the City High PTSA (a position held by Wayne Glatz for the two years prior, another parent who has given so much time and energy to the school).

Kim and I walked two hours today and talked about our families and upcoming school events and issues. It was a really fun walk and the two hours passed quickly. We walked the length of Riverside Park and made it past Fifth Third Ballpark before we turned around for the return trip.

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