They say that charity begins at home and with almost 1000 book bags given to deserving Plainfield students at last year's National Night Out. We demonstrated unequivocally that we understand how important it is to help our children learn, and that we are a caring community.

Our ultimate goal is always to build paths to self-sufficiency, but we know and understand that there are times when we need to lend a helping hand and that it takes a village to raise a child.

There are numerous challenges faced by our Plainfield students, and we are continually seeking solutions whether traditional or out of the box to help them overcome these impediments and be successful; I feel strongly that we must do whatever is needed to provide them with the tools necessary to enhance the learning process. 

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As a student who faced numerous financial challenges when growing up, I understand all too well what it means to go to school without lunch, without books, without the proper tools needed to capture and retain information. I feel the frustration of parents who want to provide these things but are just not able; I saw that frustration reflected in my mothers and grandmothers eyes every day.  The struggles powered my determination, but it did not define who I was, it did not diminish my self-worth, and it did not sap my will to learn. 

The hard work of my mother and a solid education are what changed my life, and I will forever be a proponent of the transformative power of learning.

I am passionate about education because I know what it has done in my life and I want to see every single Plainfield student seize that power to excel and succeed. 

There are some solutions which are long-term and require a more thoughtful and systemic implementation, and I am committed to finding strategies and working with our partners within the school district and the community at large to change outcomes and provide incentive for more of our scholars to move on to a tertiary education or a vocational development accreditation. I want to see them soar and go as high as they possibly can. I want them to be able to look back and appreciate the struggles they faced as character builders that pushed them to even higher heights and harness them as fuel to go higher.

We may not be able to make an overnight change, but there are some immediate steps we can take to provide quick incentives and ensure that there are no impediments to our student's growth and learning.

The 2018 National Night out is fast approaching, and as in previous years, we want to provide a measure of peace of mind to our young scholars and their parents.  To that end, we are once again collecting book bags for distribution the evening of August 7th, 2018.

Right below this editorial, you will find information on where and how you can donate and assist with the distribution effort. Let's put the tools they need into their hands so they can focus entirely on learning.  

Our Children, Our City, Our Future.

Creating, One Plainfield, One Future

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp

City of Plainfield