My parents’ generation believed in education for all. They paid for me, the daughter of a blue-collar worker, to become literate. Now, I’m trying my hardest to continue that legacy for my grandchildren.
I graduated from the Akron Public Schools and earned a degree in elementary education from the University of Akron. I’ve taught in Akron schools for more than 30 years, helping children learn to read, write and understand math, and, I hope, gain a lifelong love for learning.
I am writing in the hope that, despite our terrible economic times, the current generation will provide an even better education for our future.
One day our grandchildren will be the scientists who identify new medications to cure diseases, the doctors and the people who take care of the elderly. They will write laws and make decisions for our country and the world. They will be teachers.
Or, if they don’t receive the quality education I received, maybe they won’t. I believe that as education declines, so does the society. I don’t want our children to inherit a Third World society.
Please vote for Issue 61, the Akron schools levy. We owe it to the children and to ourselves.
Support Issue 73
When I grew up, people associated the Children Services Board with the Children’s Home. Deprived children became wards of the county. So much has changed for the better.
Now, Summit County Children Services is doing great work placing abused and neglected children in good homes with healthy families, with the goal of making the placement permanent.
The agency has innovative programs such as the Father Factor Program, which connects dads with community resources to get encouragement and support in reconnecting with their children.
The agency also works hard to give parents the skills to nurture their own children in ways that were never taught to them. Abuse and neglect need not be passed from generation to generation, and Children Services is doing everything it can to make sure it isn’t.
The agency is financially sound, thanks to good leadership and hard work. Voters need to reward the fine work that Children Services is doing. Vote for Issue 73 on Tuesday. This is not a new tax.
Students left behind
The most disturbing number in the Summit County school district ratings is the Akron graduation rate of 75.3 percent. At this rate, with 22,000 students in all grades, 5,434 of these will not graduate.
This means some 450 students per year are being turned out into the street with no high school diploma. We have the focus on the wrong kids. If we can believe that almost everyone is excellent in other districts, then we should congratulate them and turn our attention to those students who are not able to graduate. This number is far too large to ignore.
If school administrators, parents and community leaders cannot figure out an answer, we are sentencing the dropouts to a life with a millstone on their backs. This will perpetuate the need for increased social services, more police and a larger justice system. Akron taxpayers should demand an answer, and it should not be that the graduation rate is better than Cleveland’s 56 percent rate.
Thomas F. Will