Tuesday, September 19, 2006

This is just backwards

This is just backwards.

The Highlands School District School Board spent millions on a new football stadium, and now will not give even $10,000 to support the Allegheny Valley Community Library - the community libraries that are open when the schools' libraries are not.

There is so much that needs to be done in this area to promote even basic literacy. Does the school board care?

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Rob said...

Football is important. Education isn't.

Elphie said...

Last year the school board spent $10,000 on new trash cans for the football stadium. Amazing. I have been here 6 years and the library has always been an issue with me. With all of the empty buildings in Tarentum they put the library in a closet. With all of the motions for grants that the Council makes, never have I ever herad them mention applying for one for the improvement of the library. I was once a member of the Comprehensive Plan Team for Tarentum, and was a member of the Library committee. That obviously went no where.

I am saddened by the literacy level in this area. It almost seems as though the kids as well as some adults have no clue what a book is for unless it contains the shortcuts on how to win a video game. Books are used to prop up furniture, books are used to locate the correct buttons on your cell phone...T.V.s, used as a babysitting tool. Look at the increase in crime, sexual promiscuity, language, and lack of morals and principals. Televison shows in many respects are just training tools for bigger and better crimes and criminals. But don't dare turn off that box.

Recently at the place I work, we had to call the police on a shoplifter. A 12 year old shoplifter! I asked the question,"have you ever seen the inside of a jail cell?" "No", was the answer. I explained that the inside of a jail cell did not look anything like the ones you see on t.v.. They even make going to jail look glamorous. Reality and re-education are a long tough road.

But the newer libaries today offer so much more than books. With the computer movement, they offer a look into the world that was unavailable to us when we were in school. Too bad more parents don't take the time to educate their children and show them the advantages they are able to exhaust when it comes to education and literacy, rather than use the libray as a daycare center.

Imagine going through life and not ever laying eyes on Dickens, or Twain, or Dr. Suess for that matter. "Oh the Places You Will Go"

Well, I suppose if the school board spent millions on a new football stadium and new trash cans, we can see where the literacy level is headed. Right into those new trash cans. At least Highlands will have football players who will continue winning games on their new and improved field. But, will they be able to read the scoreboard to make sure they did win?

I am ever hopeful and will continue to push for better facilitated libraries and a higher standard of education.

Peace to you,

Anonymous said...

For the leaders of that school board to care about literacy would be nothing short of ironic.

Anonymous said...

Evidently we are not thinking about our tax dollars when we are willing to spent monies on public libraries when we have a fantastic library and computers already in our schools.

We tax payers are hit hard enough.
Don't you care where our tax dollars go. Or don't you care where your school taxes go?

Stewart said...

Anonymous, yes, I care.

In order for the schools to be successful in their mission they need to maintain effective partnerships with other local agencies, both public and private. Without those partnerships the schools would have to expend far more tax dollars. The Community Library has been one of those key partnerships.

When children are given research assignments as homework how are those without a personal computer supposed to do it if the public libraries are not open after school hours? How late in the evenings are the school libraries open now? What are the weekend hours for the school libraries? What would it cost the district to keep each of the school libraries open for the same hours as now provided by the community libraries (staff for the school libraries, security for the school buildings, etc.)?

The school board's decision was penny wise and pound foolish.

Stewart said...

I had to hunt all over the school district website to find the hours for the high school library.

According to the Student-Parent Handbook: "Any student may use the library before school (7:20 – 8:00 AM) and after school until 2:50 PM. Periodically, the library may be closed for classes. Students should listen to the morning announcements to hear when the library is open."