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Dear Ann Landers: Too many parents have no idea what goes on all day in school, and yet, this is a large part of their child's life. I have heard endless complaints about teachers, homework and administrative problems from parents who will not take the time to get involved and find out how they can help. I have a child in grade school, and I would like to offer these suggestions to parents who want to help their children do well in school:

1. Volunteer whenever you can. You'll get a good feel for the place and for the teachers and the support staff.

2. Go to orientations, open houses and conferences. Meet the teachers. Learn their teaching plans. Get the schedule for midterms and final exams. Find out how your child is doing.

3. Join the PTA, and keep current with what is happening in your school and with the students.

4. Review the textbooks your child uses, and the work he or she brings home.

5. Get to know your child's school friends. Meet their parents.

6. Ask about your school's academic test records. Ask the teachers and administration to answer any questions you have. Parents have the right to know.

7. Volunteer for advisory committees and board memberships so you can have a say in the policy of your child's school.

Please print this letter, Ann, so other parents can help their children.

-- Louisville Mom on the Inside Track
Dear Louisville Mom: You have made some excellent suggestions, and I am sure they are workable. The bottom line is get involved -- volunteer. Do it for your children. Do it for yourself. This is a win-win situation. Today's column may be one of the most valuable you have ever read. Pay attention!

Favorite poem

Dear Ann Landers: I read that essay by Rose Mula about the old lady in the house, and had to share with you my grandfather's favorite poem. Pops wrote poetry for all occasions, and as a result, was known as the poet laureate of Ocean View, Del. I hope you will print Pops' poem. He would have loved to have seen it in your column.

-- A Devoted Grandson in Somerville, N.J.
Dear Grandson: Your grandfather was very talented. I hope you inherited some of his genes. Here's his essay, with my thanks for sending it on.

The Mirror
-- By John T. West Jr.
The other day, I happened by chance,

As I passed a mirror, to give it a glance.

And I wondered who that old man could be,

Who, with his mouth wide open, was looking at me.

His bald head was sprinkled with a little gray fuzz,

And he wasn't at all handsome (like I always was).

He looked like a sack of mis-mated parts,

Put together without aid of instructions or charts.

And while I know that my shoulders don't slump,

This person's were misshapen in one ugly hump!

Now, if that was my image, I only can say,

They don't make mirrors like they did in my day.

Problems? Dump on Ann. Write her at The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.

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