IT'S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS
Thank you, Rachel Otwell, for shedding light upon the transmogrification of the organization that our Springfield Education Association (SEA) members work within and love in your recent cover story ("Schools shapeshift: Families adjust to ever-changing plans," Aug. 20). The piece you crafted showed investigatory prowess and vigilance, analyzing the ever-changing and complicated issues around schools and the community. We are inextricably bound together through our collective and most-treasured cargo, children. The complete analysis you provided requires no further insight.
However, I would like to echo the accomplishments of the Camp Compass program (and our SEA members who worked there), as I also understand what occurred this summer was magical. Team teaching with small class sizes, exceptional parent-liaison brokered relationships, flexibility in class delivery time, extensive enrichment and support activities and other unique strategies helped kids want to be there, parents feel supported and academic abilities soar. With a jumping off point from what already worked, a true accounting and adjustment of educational inequities of our own system and willing learning partners, undoubtedly we can spread great remote educational wealth this fall.
And not to seem disingenuous, celebrating victories but not looking inward critically, we must also acknowledge our national (but overblown) coverage of pajama prioritization, the deficiencies in our return-to-school planning and the divide our trepidatious decision-making has had on our community and internal collegial relationships. It has been tense and difficult for all.
But in the end, regardless of one's point of view, political party affiliation or disagreement over decisions made, we must all come back together and work in unison to keep our community's children and schools moving forward. When we do that, we all win.
PRESERVE LELAND FARM HOUSE
I enjoyed the article by Cinda Klickna about the Leland Farm ("Life on the Old Leland Farm," Aug. 20). I hope the new owner, Frank Vala, takes his stewardship of the Leland home seriously, because it is a Springfield treasure. Our community has lost too many historic buildings to parking lots, so I hope he keeps the home's historical integrity.
If you are afraid your vote will not be counted, go to the county building and vote. The Sangamon County building is open with special hours weeks before the election. There is no reason to trust the postal system.
Voting is your civic duty, but it takes some effort on your part. The hardest part is researching who to vote for. Most people are lazy and either do not vote or let others steal their vote by not doing research and voting the same every year.
Please vote, and vote early.