I began thinking about the three hours I spent at a local middle school judge a reading fair, and I still can’t believe how difficult it was to do. Some of those children put so much work into those boards, but it was easy to tell which of those had help from their parents. Some of the boards were done solely because they got extra credit for turning one. I had a feeling that some of those lesser boards belonged to students with little support at home, and part of me wanted to give them a blue ribbon just for turning something in. These students are capable of so much more. How do we help them achieve that? I think the first step is understanding exactly what kind of homes these children are coming from and how it effects those children. A call home might could get the parents to push their child a little more. There are so many other possible solutions, but the most important thing is first noticing the obstacles a student may be facing that is holding them back at school.