By Dale Graham
It’s not the first time it’s happened, but it’s just as big a shame now as it was years ago when budget cuts threatened to bring an end to Mr. Bill Garrison’s “Language Arts Play” and “Math Activities Play” programs at Kingston Springs Elementary School. Back then, the parents gathered all of their time and energy, and raised a ruckus until funding was restored and the classes continued.
I had children in Mr. Bill’s class back then. My Jessica was an incredible reader in the early grades. She read for school, she read for fun, and she read because she was good at it. As a child, she loved doing anything that she was good at, especially since it made her parents and teachers so happy.
She wasn’t in his class when it was threatened before, but we knew the value of Mr. Bills learning programs. We joined with the other parents and teachers who led the charge to keep those important classes going at KSES. Parents wrote letters to the editor and called the members of the board of education.
This time, Jessica and I are both removed from the school, but not the program. Jessica’s son, 2nd grader Daniel is an incredible reader, but he is in school in another county. Daniel’s parents took a great deal of their personal time to get Daniel to Mr. Bill for private lessons. I was lucky enough to visit a couple of times and watch the unique and effective methods of Mr. Bill.
Daniel is not like his mom was. He’s squirmy, a little over-energized sometime, and his attention span is occasionally not at all what I would like it to be. It didn’t matter though, Daniel took to Mr. Bill’s methods just like his very different mom did, and the results were the same!
Daniel is in 2nd grade now, his teacher is marveling at his reading skills and I am so lucky that my grandson can now read almost anything to me, and he likes doing it! His math skills are also something to marvel at, but having my grandson read to me is something I’ve looked forward to since he was an infant. What a gift, for both of us!
Again, I’m not a KSES parent anymore. Most of you don’t know me and may not care, but I’m telling you with the utmost sincerity, if you let this slide, you will regret it. All of the supplies are paid for, in fact the supplies were replaced new again after the historic May 2010 flood and now sit at KSES still available for use. Your kids deserve the same opportunity to know and love reading and math just like mine did, and just like my grandson does. Don’t let this early education program that has served Kingston Springs children for nearly two decades end. If you stay quiet you will regret it and the kids will be the ones affected.
Don’t let “Language Arts Play” and “Math Activities Play” go away. Don’t lose one more important thing because of budget cuts. SPEAK UP!
If you would like to write a letter to the editor in the S. C. Advocate, where this problem began to find a solution the last time this happened, please go to SCAdvocate.com and click submit. Make sure and give us your name, address and phone number, we will only print your name and the city in which you live.
Let me leave you with this:
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result” – Gandhi .