Back to school for me means more than trendy clothes, new school supplies and notebooks ready to be filled with knowledge. For me, it additionally means returning to new classes of approximately 132 eager eighth-grade students and figuring out ways to inspire them to write and read.
Each year what I want to convey to my students is a purpose for writing and reading that takes them from simply completing assignments to enjoying these skills for life. As teachers, we are constantly in competition with a world that offers instantaneous gratification. That is not what the world of a writer or reader is like. The best writing takes time and a stick-to-it-ness. Reading a great story takes time and the use of our imaginations. So, I decided I could use help—your help.
I am making a request for folks in the community to write letters to my students. There are a few things you could reflect on and share in your letter that would help me in achieving my goal. Explain what a difference being a writer and/or reader has made in your life. In what way or ways does writing (journaling, cartooning, poetry, narrative, non-fiction, fiction, etc.) make your life better? When did you become passionate about writing? What/who do you credit that to in your life?
Is there something you’ve written that you’d like to share with us? What specific book did you read that changed you? Why and how? When did you become passionate about reading? What/who do you credit that to in your life? How does reading for enjoyment affect your life? How does reading for information affect your life? Is there a quote, author, book you would like to pass on? Why is writing/reading important to you? Can you imagine life without either?
I would appreciate letters from any age and walk of life to share with my students. Please include a way we can contact you. Let us know what you do, who you are. Thank you in advance for taking the time to reach out. You may never know for sure, but something you say may positively change the course of a teenager’s life. I look forward to sharing your wisdom with my students. Your words will be shared with my colleagues and their students, too.
Cathy Jo Williams,
8th grade Art of Languages teacher,
Sanford Middle School
‘Save Our Park’ still rings true for Fort Mellon Park
Thank you Doug Groseclose for your informative article that appeared in The Herald on Aug. 7. As a Sanford resident, I am also opposed to the development of a maintenance facility within the boundaries of Fort Mellon Park.
Has anyone given thought to the parking spaces that will be lost for the activities of the Civic Center and the Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce? Also, consider the traffic congestion with delivery trucks and equipment moving through a parking lot?
I went by the old post office building today. My thoughts were how do you hide all of that equipment and supplies behind an eight-foot-high wall and still make it blend in with out beautiful park? How long before the city decides it is not large enough; my fear is the need to expand.
Since the post office moved, I have said all along that the building needs to be torn down or remodeled to something that is more suitable along the lakefront. Now is the opportunity for the city to do just that.
Fort Mellon Park, as well as the other parks in this city, is very well maintained due to the dedication of Marc Hultin and staff of the City Parks Division. I believe that can still be carried out if the post office property were refurbished to the department’s specific needs.
Mr. Groseclose is correct when he said my husband would have been passionately advocating for this part of the park too. Seems the sign in my yard is still appropriate — SAVE OUR PARK!
Pauline P. Hunt
(Mrs. L. Millard Hunt)