Education Summit

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Our kids are getting ready head back to school, but many of these young people believe what they will be learning doesn't matter.

On Tuesday about 100 adults who deal with children looked at ways they can help kids and show them an education does matter. The City of Rockford's education director, Adam Smith, brought non-profit social services agencies and religious organizations together to examine ways these group can collaborate to help students.

Many Rockford students have big dreams of wealth and fame, but when it comes to reaching these goals, many aren't aware of what it takes to be successful.

"They don't realize that to get from where that person was there's a lot of steps, a lot of hard work it took to get there. You don't snap your fingers and the next day you're a platinum selling artist," said Larry Messing, Junior Achievement of Rock River Valley President.

Part of the problem may originate in the classroom. Some students believe their schooling does not prepare them for the real world.

"In my personal opinion they try, but they don't offer enough. Being a student in Upward Bound, it helped me prepare myself," said Chelsey Childress.

Organizations such as Upward Bound and Junior Achievement are working to provide students with a better understanding of how to apply what they learn in class to their careers.

"We're teaching kids common sense things about going to work every day, everything from showing up on time to preparing yourself for the interview," said Messing.

The city also has a youth advisory council planning a campaign to influence their peers that school is cool.

"We need to show them they're not alone. If they're good young people, if they care about their family, if they care about the community," said Adam Smith, Rockford Director of Education and Lifelong Learning.

Students will face many challenges this school year. The goal is to give them the tools they need to succeed.

The Golden Apple Foundation of Rockford will soon list all providers who met at Tuesday’s education summit on their website to establish a database of all services available to students at