Should Shakira Have a Say in Your Child's Education?
Nov 09, 2011
It might be true that Shakira's voice would be instantly recognizable to many school-age children both in and outside the United States. But how many of those children realize that the young star also gives voice to educational reform and equality? While her musical talents have awarded her a Grammy and worldwide recognition, the singer's educational efforts have recently brought their own reward.
A 'Tremendous Honor'
Common goals can sometimes lead to unlikely partnerships.
President Obama has made education a top priority during his presidency; Shakira (whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll) has spoken out on educational issues for most of her career. So it does not seem as strange as it might appear that in October 2011 the president appointed the singer to his Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
In a statement, Shakira said, 'This is a tremendous honor for me.' She went on to discuss her desire to 'close the gap' between Latinos who drop out of school and those who do not. And with more than six million Latino children living in poverty, Shakira believes education is their only hope.
Though certainly not in the age-group one would normally associate with fans of Shakira, President Obama is no stranger to the Colombian singer. In October 2008, Shakira endorsed Obama as a presidential candidate and in response Obama called the young artist a 'role model' for young Latinas around the world.
Shakira performed at Obama's 'We Are One' Inauguration Concert with Usher and Stevie Wonder in January, 2009. And in February 2010, she met at the White House with Obama and Vice-President Joseph Biden to discuss early childhood education reform.
A Voice for Education
Shakira has long been as active outside the recording studio as she has been inside of it.
Since 1991 (at the age of 13!), Shakira has produced 11 albums. And during nearly all that time, she has been involved in some way in educational activism.
In 1995 she founded the Barefoot Foundation, a nonprofit organization with a mission 'to make education universally available to every child.' In 2007, she joined the Latin American Solidarity Action (ALAS) Foundation, which focuses on improving health and education for poor Latin American communities. In addition, she is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
So, while at first glance Obama's appointment of Shakira might have sounded a bit odd, it's plain to see that the singer is undoubtedly passionate about the importance of education, and she seems to carry the credentials to adequately fulfill the duties of her new advisory role. Our children could be in worse hands.
Other Blog Posts You May Be Interested In
A question for parents: would you allow your children to play outside without keeping an eye on them? Many would likely say no. Well, the same mentality should be used when your kids use the Internet; in other words, kids should not be allowed to roam the vast world of the Internet unsupervised and without fully understanding its...
If you have a child in elementary, middle or high school, then you've likely heard plenty of stories about bullying. Even if your child is not the target of bullying, he or she could still be affected by it. As a parent, you'll certainly want to make your kids aware of this persistent and growing problem in schools across the...
Let's face it: moving from kindergarten to first grade can be an overwhelming experience; so can transitioning from elementary school to middle school, or middle school to high school. In many ways, kids can be totally unprepared for what to expect as they move from one grade level to the next. So how can parents help with this...
Is it too early to begin thinking about your child's future career? Whether you have a toddler, tween or teen, it's never too early to begin cultivating interests that might one day turn into a career. So what can you do to steer your child in what is hopefully the right direction?
Are you worried that your child will not be intellectually stimulated during the summer months? While the season should be a time for fun and relaxation, it certainly doesn't hurt to slip some learning in during summer break. So sure, hit the beaches and amusement parks...but consider the following suggestions for activities that are...