Whit’s End: Education is for everyone | PostIndependent.com

Whit’s End: Education is for everyone

Elsa Holmelund Minarik’s “Little Bear” will always be special to me.

It probably wasn’t the first book I read. Early childhood memories are seldom so clear. Besides, my mom spent an awful lot of time with my sister and me, reviewing the pamphlet-sized A Beka Books we received from school. But I recall reading “Little Bear” on my own, sitting up in bed, at age 4. I’ve read myself to sleep almost every night for the 31 years since.

My love of reading is almost certainly responsible for my career in writing.

Our early educational experiences can shape us, whether by guiding us toward a future career or shaping how we view the world. I’m fortunate that my family and my school played such a role in my life.

I don’t have children, although I’m the proud aunt of two little boys and a tiny girl. The fact that my only dependents are covered in fur and meow, though, doesn’t mean I’m ambivalent about education. I know it plays an essential role in our communities.

My story is but one example, and I’ve been privileged to see many others through the years. Literacy is, predictably, my pet cause. I can’t speak eloquently about the role science and math have played in my life — although they certainly have shaped me in some way — but I could easily point to a number of people who could fill in my gaps. (Thanks to my career and voracious appetite for books, I continue to learn more about those areas. Carlo Rovelli’s “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” is high on my to-read list.)

I’ve written about the arts for most of my 12-year journalism career, and as a result I’ve been privy to a close-up look at the way art unites and challenges people. This week, an exhibit at Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts will introduce or remind visitors of the city’s history. And Rosybelle, Carbondale Arts’ mobile makerspace, began visiting schools this week. (Read more about that in Saturday’s paper.)

Opportunities to learn abound. Whether you’re investing in a child or in yourself, let’s embrace education.

Carla Jean Whitley still buys copies of “Little Bear” for all the small people in her life. You can reach her at cj@postindependent.com.