I am a fourth grader at Saddle Rock. In the past few weeks, I have heard a lot about the upcoming bond vote. It is clear to me that some people may vote No because their kids do not attend public schools and they think the schools should and could go on without the bond. What shook me the most is that if the bond is voted No, there is a strong likelihood that there will be fewer enrichment programs because the roof must be repaired and the teachers must be paid. I feel nauseous in the pit of my stomach.
We had this before. A year ago, many enrichment programs at elementary schools became paid programs, including the Saddle Rock book club, which I loved. Some are gone because they do not have enough paid enrollment. Parents may not know that some of these programs make a school day great. In third grade, I waited the entire week for the early-morning book club on Thursdays because the discussions were so interesting. This year, luckily, I still get to do the Stock Market club in the winter and band and orchestra throughout the year and, of course, the SEEK program during the days. I have heard adults saying that these programs are mostly likely the first affected because schools must complete the roof repair, renovate the restrooms and pay their teachers. I have heard the stories about what happened in other communities such as Lawrence, and the threat seems real that maybe one day schools can only afford to provide the bare minimum enrichment programs.
True, enrichment programs are for some students. But they help them develop specific interests, are more interesting and challenging, and are far more rewarding. Sometimes, it is the highlight of a kid’s day at school. The benefits these kids get out of the programs trickle down to the whole school. When made paid, some students may not be able to enroll and, when cut, the days become gray.
I grew up learning to always go above and beyond the bare minimum. We can do it because the school supports us. When a school can only provide the bare minimum programs, the school crumbles. A community is great, for a big part, because of its great public schools. When people in the community are divided into them vs. us on their support to public schools, the community crumbles. I do not want to live a crumbled community and go to a crumbled school.
This amazing little girl also wrote this persuasive letter to save her book club last year.