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Letters to the editor - 4/22/03

April 22, 2003

Kindergarten is important



To the editor:


After reading the Morning-Herald on April 3 following a busy day at work, I was appalled to read the comments made by County Commissioner John Munson concerning kindergarten.

First of all, Mr. Munson, I, along with many kindergarten teachers, resent your assumption that kindergarten is babysitting. It concerns me that you are part of a decision-making process and know so little about the importance of a good education for young children.

You see, Mr. Munson, parents do not work because we can "babysit" their children. Statistics show that more homes today, have both parents working full-time than ever before, and in some instances, a single parent provides the sole income. However, this is not about the working parent. It's about your failure to recognize the importance of kindergarten as an essential beginning to a child's education.

During the 19 years that I've been teaching kindergarten, I have never spent one day babysitting my students. I invite you, Mr. Munson, to come spend a day in my classroom and then tell me that I'm babysitting. By the way, I am in Berkeley County, W. Va., where we have recognized the importance of early childhood education.

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Our entire state provides full-day kindergarten at all elementary schools and I invite you to come experience a typical day. Please do not expect to nap, play or fingerpaint all day. But if you would like to listen to my students read or help them with addition or subtraction, that would be great!

Times have changed and the full-day program will provide students with a well-rounded background to be more successful in first grade. I would recommend, however, that the county look into changing their entrance age for kindergarten to 5-years-old by Sept. 1, which is a more appropriate age for a successful full-day program. Good luck, Washington County!

Cindy Welsh
Hedgesville, W.Va.




What happened to our freedoms?



To the editor:


With the stroke of the pen, thousands of good kids who prefer to say the Pledge of Allegiance the way it should be said will become criminals overnight, thanks to the A.C.L.U. (The worst group of people this country has to contend with - a sad situation.)

I thought freedom of speech was a cherished and valuable gift from our forefathers, but not any more. Tell the kids they can curse the president, but don't mention the word of God. When a valedictorian wants to give thanks to God for reaching this achievement, it is a "no-no." And this country is supposed to have freedom of speech?

I was wondering how these children will be detected and punished for their crime of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance? Will they have a state trooper in each class trying to figure out which child is the criminal? What will be the punishment be? Will it be expulsion or jail for this terrible crime?

Our county has gone from freedom of religion to freedom from religion. This is supposed to be government of the people, by the people and for the people. Now it is government of the radicals, by the radicals and for the radicals.

I am 77 years old and have always said I was glad to have lived when I have. I have seen so many good things happen in technology and medicine that had not happened for hundreds of years before. But I don't think I want to be around from another 77 the way it is headed. Our country will decay from the inside.

Next the A.C.L.U. will have "In God We Trust" (who can we trust?) taken from our coins. Then they will have prayer taken from our government. Our forefathers would turn over in their graves if they could see the way things have been changed to satisfy a few.

Charles E. Shank
Hagerstown

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