Open community forum on STEM educational program

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The first of two community forums was held Monday night at the Yakima Valley Technical Skills Center. Parents, educators and business owners offering feedback on how to make sure our children have the education they need to succeed.

As technology advances, the education of our youth must do the same.

"Comes down to their ability to maintain families and advance the kind of life they want to live. And also contribute to the South Central Washington economy," said Roland Young, the STEM Educational Services Coordinator for District 105.

Educators across the Yakima Valley say the biggest push has to come in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The whole idea is to get children interested in these subjects with more specialized and hands on classes and ultimately preparing them for highly-skilled jobs.

"It's a very exciting time in education and were looking forward to making sure those opportunities are available to all our students,"said West Valley Schools Assistant Superintendent Peter Finch.

"It's learning ideas from other people. How we can improve the science, technology, engineering and math in our public schools and private schools," said Yakima Valley Farm Workers Student Program Coordinator Marty Lentch.

Lentch is getting ideas to improve the weekend program at the Farm Workers Clinic while parents simply want to learn how to ensure their children have every opportunity for a brighter future.

"Instead of having those jobs outsourced or insourced, we want to fill those jobs here in Central Washington, said parent Lucky Taylor. "So. we have to get the education, we have to push each other to get that education and push each other even as adults to understand what's available for our children."

For those who missed Monday night's meeting, another community forum will be held Tuesday evening on September 18th, 2012 in Toppenish at Heritage University from 6:30 to 8pm.