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A Stand UP Graduate Speaks Out

Parent & Family Engagement | 12/22/2017

Diondria Craft
Stand UP Graduate & Parent Advocate

Diondria Craft is a Stand Up for Parents (Stand UP) graduate and a parent advocate in IPS.

My name is Diondria Craft. I have a preschool student at Louis B. Russell school 48. I would like to note that this school is not my neighborhood school nor does my 1st grader attend this school.

I fell upon this school while in the process of getting my preschooler prepared for kindergarten the following year. I had the opportunity to visit the school and speak with his teacher before I accepted his position in the class and I felt that he would benefit there.

Watch Diondria's graduation speech here.

I stand here today as a 3rd generation single mother in my family. We are hardworking dedicated mothers who only want our children to have a wholesome and fulfilling life.

I was taught that even though you are a powerful black woman you still need support. And God always, no matter where you are, failing or succeeding, God has your best interest at heart.

I'm still learning how to make that statement real to me to this day and now as a parent my focus is switched toward my children’s growth.

Stand Up is here to help parents to see that education starts at home. It trains you on financial opportunities to support your child’s academic education and the government side of academic education.

What I do appreciate about this program is that it allows parents to get involved in the process of how our education system is run. Parents, never forget you are your child's first line of education.

I remind myself everyday I'm the person who taught them to use the bathroom, flush the toilet, shut the door, wash their hands and say please and thank you.

Do they always do that? No. but I taught them to do these things. A school did not. Parents, never take your position for granted. You are extremely valuable to your child and your school district. As adults we have to see ourselves in these students.

Remember, we were all students once. Not a college student, but an ABC and 123 student. That’s how we all got our start.

Now our children are in that situation, plus all of the other lifestyle changes we now have because of technology growth. Our kids need every little bit of support they can get.

As parents, the way the world is set up, we sometimes forget we have to raise our children first before they hit the classroom. They need and deserve love, attention, discipline, correction and reminders daily. Not just a quick "don't do something stupid" or “stop that” but a real statement to touch their hearts.

We live in a world where too many people are callous and emotionless and lack empathy. We must remember that we are our child’s first teacher. We have to do more as parents. Safety and security are important, but we can lose their hearts if we’re not careful.

I'm up here tonight not to complain, but to hope that someone is taping this speech to light a fire on social media and to reach people’s ears.

Our children deserve a proper environment for learning and a strong curriculum being taught to them. I am aware of my position as a parent and I know all of us as parents are motivated by the love for our children.

Let’s be attentive to our budding flowers and watch them bloom.

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