Blake Shelton, country music star and coach on The Voice, once held the same textbook as 7-year-old Marley Parker does right now. But it's not going into a museum, she's using it to learn to read.
It's a first-grade classroom at Latta Public School in Ada, Oklahoma that is using the same book that was new to Shelton back in 1982.
And that's why Marley's mom, Shelly Parker is so embarrassed - not because of anything Blake did, but that the Oklahoma school system is using a textbook that is almost 40 years old.
She wrote on Facebook:
Marley is EXCITED that her “new” reader belonged to Blake Shelton, but I am EMBARRASSED!!!! I’m 40 and these people are my age!!! Thank you to every teacher/parent/support staffer/etc. for fighting for my kids education!!! Don’t give up until education is FULLY FUNDED!!!! #fundOKED#Okwalk4kids #westillloveblake
It's not the book per se that's the issue, it's what it represents - decades of underfunded, overcrowded schools that are falling down around the children teachers are desperately trying to educate with a plethora of books, not just literature books, that are falling apart.
The book in question, which does not have any details on Amazon it's so old, is not on the Common Core list of reading materials for kindergarten to first grade - although classics like Green Eggs and Ham and National Geographic titles such as Wind Power and Garden Helpers are.
For those unfamiliar with Common Core, it's a nationwide initiative to standardize what school-age children must learn each year in the areas of English language arts and mathematics. The program was NOT adopted by Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Alaska, Nebraska, Indiana and South Carolina, which means they are not bound to teach their children to par with national standards.
Blake getting behind an education initiative in the home state he touts on so many episodes of The Voice would certainly help push legislation.
And it wouldn't be the first time a celebrity stepped in to push back. It was just last year March when Chance the Rapper wrote a million dollar check which came with a call to action to Chicago Public Schools. Chance said then,
“As a private citizen, as a parent and as a product of CPS, I’m asking that you guys join and fight with me, organize with me, mobilize with me, for the interest of the children of Chicago. This is the very beginning.”
He has since raised $2.2 million for arts education in Illinois schools.
Blake has the opportunity to open the conversation in Oklahoma with this post from Shelly Parker. Will he? Should he? Tell us what you think below!