VWC thanks restaurant for gift certificates
To the editor:
On Feb. 8, during the Washington County Arts Council’s Annual Art Educators Exhibit, Volunteer Washington County (VWC) held a reception to honor the winners of this year’s MLK Day of Service Art Contest. VWC and the WCAC were pleased to award gift certificates for art supplies to Erin Mettille, Nahja Collins, Lauren Giannola and Liana James.
VWC, thanks to the generous contributions of Cafe del Sol, awarded the winners gift certificates to the restaurant. Volunteer Washington County would like to thank Cafe del Sol for its generous donation and for supporting the artistic excellence of others.
Bernadette Wagner, co-director
Volunteer Washington County
Reading to children offers hope for the future
To the editor:
Educators and policymakers of all stripes donned their Cat-in-the-Hat hats this week and read to young children to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday. United Way, in our partnership with the National Education Association and teachers everywhere, was proud to celebrate Read Across America Day on Friday. It’s a fun way to celebrate books and reading, but our commitment to early literacy must be sustained every day of the year.
Across the country, two-thirds of our third-graders aren’t reading on grade level, which means they are four times as likely to drop out of high school. And the outlook is even worse for disadvantaged students. A staggering 83 percent of fourth-graders from low-income families don’t read on grade level.
We all want opportunity for our children. But kids who don’t read well by third or fourth grade tend to fall further behind as they start reading to learn. Too many check out, drop out and fail to reach their potential. It’s no exaggeration to say that helping kids read well can help us close achievement gaps, increase graduation rates, support our local economy and build a strong community.
Families, schools and communities have to work together. We have the power to change our nation’s future if we work together to help struggling readers in elementary school. Teachers can’t do it alone. Families might not know exactly what to do to help their child read or know how to spot a reading problem early on.
But the truth is, all of us can be part of the solution. You can read out loud to your child or grandchild tonight. You can volunteer to read to kids in your local child care center or elementary school next week. You can volunteer as a tutor or mentor, speak up at your local school board meeting, or donate books to your local library or afterschool program.
Take action, because change doesn’t happen without you.
Melissa Reabold, executive director
United Way of Washington County
State, gun opponents should pay proposed fees
To the editor:
I note one very interesting point on the debate over firearms — money. Why is it that as Marylanders we are forever facing increasing fees, new fees and fees period? Given the current state of the economy, it is easy to see why Gov. O’Malley is so quick to ride this bandwagon of gun opponents. I suggest the state and those aboard this bandwagon should foot these proposed fees. The latter is logical, given they are the ones wishing to create them.
To those who truly believe that guns are the problem, consider the following. Every single day in this world, children are molested, women are raped, wives are physically beaten, people go hungry and senior citizens have no heat, no food and no medications. Much of that is done without a gun.
We need to focus on the real problems rather than those that could increase state revenue.
Randy A. Breeden