Students, athletes deserve parade praise
As is tradition with any homecoming week, a parade will be held Friday in downtown Tonganoxie to celebrate homecoming week, which is taking place before the first game of the season.
It's unusual for the homecoming to be held before the first game of the season, but another unique event is planned for this year's parade.
Fourth-grade students at Tonganoxie Elementary School who scored in the top two categories as third-graders in the 2008 spring state assessment tests will be marching in the parade as well. Those top two categories came in both reading and math.
It will be the first time the youths will be honored in such a way.
It's a move that should be applauded. We all love our athletics, whether it be pee-wee leagues, high school, college or the pros.
But too often, the achievements of those on the academic side of things are not recognized for their great accomplishments as well.
The emphasis should also be on the "student" side of being a student-athlete.
While youths in elementary school aren't quite old enough to be classified in the student-athlete category, this is a great way to prepare them if they do in fact plan to participate in school-sanctioned athletics.
And if they don't plan to be student-athletes, we're certainly OK with that as well.
Youngsters always look up to those ahead of them in age. What a thrill it will be for those youths to be honored on the same stage as high school students.
When the TES students are recognized for their academic achievements and are parading down the same route as their high school counterparts, be sure to give them plenty of applause.
It's an accomplishment that deserves the same type of boisterous cheers afforded to the football team when, it's hoped, the squad scores plenty of touchdowns at Friday's homecoming game.