To the Editor:

August is an exciting time for children and parents alike. Yes, after National Ice Cream Sandwich Day (Aug. 2 for those who missed it), it seems as there isn’t much else to look forward to, though you would be wrong. At the end of every August, thousands of children finally leave their couches and ascend to the school-steps; it is every parent’s dream.

Amid the nostalgic scent of a new crayon box, the thrill of decorating a locker, and the promise of a new school year, it’s important to remember that many people do not have this opportunity. 130 million girls around the world are not enrolled in school. In fact, girls between the ages of 10 to 19 are three times as likely to be kept out of school compared to their male peers. So, how do we change this statistic?

The Keeping Girls in School Act (H.R. 2153/ S.1071) empowers girls across the globe and ensures they receive a safe and free education. Not only can a girl’s lifetime earnings increase by 20% by obtaining an education; she is more protected against child marriage, premature death and violence. This bill is to be voted on in the U.S. Congress within the coming months. 

You may be asking why? Why focus on education abroad while there are still disparities in our own country. Well, when it comes to foreign aid, supporting the advancement of others is imperative. By investing in other societies, we are also investing in our own. When people on the other side of the world become educated, they contribute to the workforce, as well as become consumers. They can boost our economy and create American jobs. Most importantly, however, they have the ability to fulfill their own goals.

So, as you’re waving goodbye to your son or daughter at the bus stop and encouraging them to pursue their dreams, remember those abroad. Fight for them. Fight for their dreams. 

Emilee Kerr

Athens

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