Lyndon A. Zaitz, Publisher

Athletics at McNary High School has a club of boosters—a non-profit organization comprised mainly of parents of the students who play sports. The choir and band programs also have organized boosters. Boosters not only support the programs but are also a big source of fund raising.

Athletics and arts should be supported and boosted. We call on the administration of McNary High School to set the stage for creating academic booster clubs—after all, students are attending school primarily to learn and achieve scholastic excellence.

Imagine the powerful message that would be sent with the establishment of a Mathematics Booster Club, or a Sciences Booster Club. We understand the school nor the school district are involved with booster clubs, per se, but they can certainly voice their support for the establishment of such organizations.

Additionally, we would like to see academic booster clubs that have a focus less on fund raising and more on encouraging students to embrace and learn to enjoy math and science—boy and girl students (the world needs female scientists, too). Sure, math and science aren’t as exciting as a Friday night football game or a spring concert, but those subjects arguably will have a longer term effect on the students over their lifetimes.

All students should have the opportunity to do well in the academic fields—teachers work overtime to help those in their classes that need a little more attention or assistance. A Mathematics Booster Club would be a good supplement to what instructors are doing in the classroom—think tutors on steroids.

A few ‘Atta girl’s would go far to give a female student confidence to think they can one day help put man on Mars. (Hidden Figures, a film currently in theaters, tells the true story of the important contribution of women in NASA’s endeavor to put the first American in space in the early 1960s.) The key work done by women in science and math should not be footnote in history or a movie.

Not every student athlete turns their passion into a multi-million dollar career; not every choir member turns their love of music into stardom on the global stage. But, a student with a love of math, science or another academic subject has an excellent chance of continuing their education in college and perhaps helping put the first woman on Mars.

That’s what an academic booster club can do for students today. When adults are excited about math and science, our kids can be, too.