Dear 8th graders of Montana,

I have a message to get across but I want to establish something first— I'm not a stuffed-shirt egghead here to talk down to you. I'm a radio DJ, but I'm not a how-do-you-do-fellow-kids type either, talking like "algebra is totally lit fam, frfr." I wouldn't waste my time writing that crap and I don't want to waste your time either. I'm writing this because you're Montana's future and I love this state.

Unfortunately 70% of Montana's 8th graders are not proficient in math skills and through little (if any) fault of your own. Your whole life was turned upside down, let alone your educational routine. It would be unfair to expect you to master mathematics at the same pace you would've if you didn't spend 2 years under these circumstances.

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Now you're getting used to life in the classroom again. That can't be easy, for me it was a struggle coming back after a single summer so I can hardly imagine how you feel. You know as much as anyone that making huge a lifestyle change is difficult, now with the added challenge of spending 6 to 8 hours at school again. But overcoming this challenge won't just make you smarter, it'll make you stronger.

Finally, I'll get to the point, and I hope you'll forgive the cliché because I must say this: stay in school, kids. The hard truth is, there's a lot at stake. You have one chance at entering adulthood with a proper education, so don't waste this opportunity. The choice to go to class is the choice to make your dreams come true. I feel in my heart that Montana's young adults will make the right choice, and Montana's future is in great hands.


Christian Grant

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