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Letters to the Editor

August 30, 1999

Buddy was well cared for

To the editor:

I would like to thank Dr. Franklin and his staff for the compassion and care they showed to me in the death of my family pet, Buddy. It isn't easy finding people who care so much these days.

I got to enjoy Buddy's company for nine years and was not prepared to say good-bye. He became very sick suddenly and Dr. Franklin fit Buddy into his schedule immediately. Sadly, Buddy died that evening from a terrible illness.

Dr. Franklin and his staff showed total compassion and caring in this sad moment. In all my years of having animals I have never found this kind of care.

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Buddy may have been a dog but he was deeply loved and yes, I do believe animals go to heaven. May God bless you doctor and your staff. I thank you and I know Buddy thanks you for loving him in his last hours.

Chris Swope

Hagerstown

No need for police to be rude

To the editor:

There has been a big increase in moped thefts recently and you get very little help from the local police department.

My son had his moped stolen approximately three weeks ago. We filed a report and that was the last contact we had with them.

Since the moped was stolen we have spotted one that looked like my son's several times. I called the police and gave them a description and location; they said they would check it out. I have no idea whether they did or not. I never heard anything back from them.

I realize this is not high on their list of priorities, but it is very important to my son. He is making payments on something he doesn't have. One night last week at approximately 2 a.m. I was riding around and looking to see if I could spot it again. I spotted a moped which resembled my son's.

I went up Jonathan Street and came upon two cruisers and two cycle cops who were just sitting in a group talking. I asked them if one of them could check a moped for me - I had the serial number with me. They were very rude and insolent. They refused to do this and were very smart about it. If they had done their job my son might have his moped back or somebody else might have theirs back.

It appears some officers feel wearing a badge gives them the right to be rude and disrespectful to people. This is a perfect example why local police get no respect. I certainly hope they don't call my number for a donation to the FOP this year.

Joseph Harris

Hagerstown

Reading programs help students for the long haul

To the editor:

We, the middle school literacy resource teachers of Washington County Public Schools, and Sherry Purkey, supervisor of secondary reading/English language arts, wish to thank The Herald-Mail Co. and especially staff writer Bruce Hamilton for the timely Aug. 5 article, "New initiative emphasizes reading." This article serves to re-emphasize the extraordinary role and complex nature of reading and literacy in our community and in our schools.

As the 1999-2000 school year approaches, Washington County teachers, parents and students have had and will continue to have numerous opportunities to develop a range of skills in reading and literacy. The needs are clear. National and Maryland state assessments indicate a lack of reading improvement, especially among students in the middle grades. Teachers are challenged to teach reading skills and strategies to students at all ability and success levels, and school systems are challenged to provide programs and resources that enable all students to develop essential skills.

To address the issue of reading improvement for students in middle schools, the Washington County public school system is implementing a comprehensive plan which includes the placement of literacy resource teachers in all middle schools to provide intensive, ongoing staff development for all middle school teachers.

Daily reading classes will focus on reading purposes, skills and strategies, while daily language arts classes will focus on grammar and writing. The reading strategies will be applied in all subject areas; therefore, literacy resource teachers will work with all teachers and students to promote daily reading and writing in all classrooms.

Since reading methods will be disseminated to teachers in all contents, students will benefit from increased consistency in terminology and expectations in all classes.

An expectation of Washington County public school system is for students to become independent, life-long learners. With the effort and support of teachers, parents, the community at large, and institutions like The Herald-Mail, this expectation should certainly be achievable now and into the next century.

Jerry Haines

Julee Keikirk

Literacy Resource Team

WCPS

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