Re: 128 students suspended at Ind. school

On Thu, 31 Aug 2006 13:08:26 GMT, "Donna Metler"
<dmmetler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

"Nan" <dontbotherme@xxxxxxxx> wrote

Tecnically, everyone in our city can get one, too. County residents
cannot, unless there is a library in their township, or they're
willing to pay for the card. There are 2 townships that don't have a
branch library, so those folks are out of luck.
A patron must be a property owner or live in a rental in which the
landlord pays property taxes.
2 valid ID's are required, along with proof of address.
This area's illegal alien population has grown by leaps and bounds.
Many of them don't have the proper ID, so they won't be able to
receive a card.

Which is why schools need to have libraries (and computer labs, especially
at secondary), and those libraries (and labs) need to be open outside of the
regular school day. Unfortunately, I know that budget cuts often hit these
first. I tend to subscribe to the "school as community center" view, which
says that the local school should provide services not only for students but
for the parents and other community members, subject to rules and
limitations to assure the safety of the students, because the family and
community have a much higher role in the child's long-term success than the
school does. If children see their parents as learners, they're likely to be
learners as well. If a child sees their parents going to the library,
checking out books, and reading, they'll probably do so as well. And, yes,
in the long term, if a child sees that their parents dress neatly and
appropriately for a situation, they will probably do so as well, although
not necessarily by their own choice during adolescence!

But parents can't set such an example without the resources being made
available to them. Access to libraries, which, in current times, includes
computers, should not be limited by income.

I fully agree. Years ago when our city library was planning to expand
and build branches in the townships one of the Township Trustees
decided that the Middle School there would be sufficient for the
residents. So no branch was budgeted for in his township. Lo and
behold, budget cuts and safety constraints have caused the school
library to be off limits to the public.

Several years ago the director of our township's library decided to
issue temporary cards to the residents of that township, for the
summer months. Our circulation increased dramatically.

Ideally, the family shouldn't have to ask for assistance. I have no trouble
handing a child a pencil and a few sheets of paper if they need it-nor do I
have any trouble asking the guidance office to check up on any student who
is habitually unprepared to find out if there are issues which need to be
addressed. Our school cafeteria feeds any child who walks through the door,
even if the parents haven't sent money in to the office or filed for
free/reduced lunch-and if a bill goes unpaid, again, the guidance staff
politely discuss the financial situation with the parents to get the child
qualified. If a child comes to school out of uniform, we provide a
uniform-and find out why the child didn't have one. And, if a child has
parents who are too proud to accept help, the child can choose to change
clothes again before going home, and do homework only at school so that the
child won't get in trouble with the parent, because yes, it happens.
Although, my experience is the "we don't accept charity" parents are the
ones who will bend over backwards to meet their child's basic needs, even at
extensive cost to themselves.

Our lunchroom supervisor used to just give away hot meals to students
she knew were in need. Or she'd extend credit to kids whose parents
typically did pay to their lunch account, but happened to fall short.
I guess that cost the district too much money, as she got replaced and
now the kids will receive only a PB&J sandwich and milk instead of the
menu lunch. Which in itself isn't too bad, but I wouldn't want to eat
PB&J every day.

It's simple. Find a need, fix it, and let the children go on with learning.
Again, if you teach low income kids, you have to be willing to meet those
needs first so that the children can learn, and you know that the parents
may not be able to do so-or may be too proud to accept charity. Doesn't
matter. Meet the child's need, and go on.