WHAT DO YOU THINK: What do kids in Columbia need?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:51 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 9, 2012

UPDATE: As of April 9, 2012, the Missourian staff is no longer actively checking this questionnaire for updates. Please feel free to still respond to the questionnaire, but if you'd like to make sure the Missourian sees your responses in a timely manner please also send an email to Joy Mayer, director of community outreach. Joy's email is

The Missourian is working on a special project about kids in Columbia.

As part of it, we're looking into the needs of Columbia's kids. What do you think kids in Columbia are most in need of right now? The answer could be almost anything — strong role models, after-school programs, better nutrition. Tell us your opinion here.

Do you know anyone who is working to help meet the needs of kids and make a difference in their lives? Tell us about them.

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Ray Shapiro February 29, 2012 | 1:51 p.m.

In my opinion:
1. Children need parents who cook and share dinner at the table.
(Leftovers can be used to send the kids to school with "brown bag" lunches.) During dinner time it is important that the parent(s) engage in active listening and also discuss important issues, events, options, philosophies and consequences of behavior to their children.
2. Children need good elementary through high school guidance counselors who participate as social workers as well as an academic resource.
3. Children need parents who provide a safe, cordial home where other children and their parents can share some quality time.
4. Children need to learn the value of their local public library.
5. Children need to participate in volunteer activities, in line with their interests, to realize that there is more to life than just consumerism.
6. Children need exposure to church activities/spiritual awakenings to feel more connected to nature.

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