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Mom says same-sex classes can help girls and boys

Re: Same-sex classes

Daughter now thriving in school

My 8-year daughter Samantha has attended Westside since kindergarten. She has been in the single-gender classes for the last two years, and she is now completing the third grade. I feel the school board and the community needs to know the benefits of these classes.

Samantha started Westside Elementary School and was in a coed class for kindergarten and first grade. First grade was very stressful. There were these two boys in her class who would pick on her — pull her hair, trip her in the hall, or take her paper. She didn't focus on her work because of the boys.

Needless to say when the letters about the single-gender classes came out and they were seeking volunteers, I jumped! I was thrilled that Westside had decided to try such a bold move.

Sami was accepted into the program and second grade was awesome. Not once did I hear about what the boys were doing. I started hearing more about what she did and what she had learned, and I saw that her attention span was getting better in her classes and at home She is currently completing her second year in the pilot program.

The program is awesome. The children are doing better because they are getting the attention they need. Boys and girls learn at different rates and struggle equally in different areas. In these classes, they are getting exactly what they need — a quality education.

The single gender class is helping these children and helping to bring up the school's grade levels. By cutting back, they are not going to help with that problem. The future of our children's education is at stake, please don't take the program away from our children!

Melanie Pietrowski, Spring Hill

Such classes harmful in future

Same sex classes, you're kidding, right? Here we go again: Government interference. This time with social skills.

Don't smoke on the street, don't talk on a cell phone while driving, wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle and use your seat belt. Now we have separate classrooms for boys and girls. Next they will want all boys to have blond hair and blue eyes.

Where is the National Organization for Women, which fought so hard for equality among sexes, when you need them? How will these children adapt to the real world where opposite sexes socialize?

John Masterson, Spring Hill

Re: Warrick Dunn

Also help those who have homes

So here we are in a recession, people out of work, houses lying vacant. Yet I open the paper and read about a sport star handing a new house to what I am sure is a very nice family. This seems very admirable. However, in these times, why not buy and restore an already vacated home? If a person already has nothing, then something is better.

Or here's a really great idea. Why don't all the people who make big bucks adopt a needy family to help? Fix up their homes, replace roofs, windows, etc. Make these homes safe. I would help if I were rich or in a position to do so. However, I'm one of those poor people who honestly needs help at this time: low Social Security, bills falling behind, an old home in dire need of repair. No insurance on home as I'm hardly able to survive now. I'm just praying we don't get a bad hurricane as my home would probably blow away.

I try to find a job but too many others are also looking. This may not be Kansas and my dog's name is Bella, but whatever may happen, there is no place like home.

Dorothy R. Rockwell, Spring Hill

Tax booze more, not cigarettes

I can't believe that Gov. Charlie Crist wants to add a dollar per pack to the cigarette tax. Instead, if he wants more tax money, why doesn't he put a heavy tax on alcohol? Alcohol causes drunken drivers to kill innocent people. Cigarettes do not kill other people. Healthwise, I would prefer to smoke than drink.

Lillian Litera, Spring Hill

As mosquito magnets, birds give early warning of viruses May 25 article

Have pity for the poor chickens

Good article. It was interesting.

I would hate to have 200 mosquito bites. Poor chickens.

Jack D. Jones, Spring Hill

Wrong time to cut into THE Bus

THE Bus is a way of life. Now that it is here, keep it to save jobs for the people who depend on them to come and go, including the ridership, drivers and workers. Gas is jumping up and you know the hardship of money will reach us all.

Cutting THE Bus in half will lose more ridership. Who thinks it's smart to do so is going the wrong way. Get the expansion started, rural neighbors need this service and will be full of joy to get what they wish for.

THE Bus is needed for extra rides to churches, one-day outings, groups to visit shopping stores, wedding, etc. Think about it.

Rosemary Sonnenberg, Spring Hill

Don't be in rush to put down pets | May 21 letter

Takes everyone to solve pet dilemma

I completely understand the writer's view on remorse of giving up a pet. That is why it is so important to educate the public on the various animal shelters and what their policies are when you are about to surrender a pet.

Everyone, including the staff at Hernando County Animal Services, would be thrilled to be able to keep pets until they are able to be adopted. Everyone is heartbroken by every animal that is euthanized at county facilities. Again, their job is to enforce the county codes. It is a terrible responsibility and they do it with great compassion.

There is a staggering number of animals being surrendered or abandoned every single day. There is not enough room for all of them. We need the public to do their part if they want to see this situation change. Here's how you can help:

• Do everything possible in your power to keep your pet with you. If this is not possible, do your homework on every shelter in the area so you know where you are leaving them and what their policies are.

• Go to your local animal shelter and offer to be a foster parent for a homeless pet until they can be adopted.

• Offer to be a volunteer at one of your local shelters.

• Become a donor to the shelter of your choice so they can expand to meet the evergrowing population of homeless pets.

• Be an advocate for the spaying and neutering of pets to reduce the population of homeless pets. Spay and neuter your own pets and remind friends and family members to do the same.

• Become educated on the current pet overpopulation problem and decide what you can do to help change this situation.

Everyone working in animal rescue is fighting an uphill battle. There are not enough resources to serve the homeless pets in need. This is a communitywide problem that will take a communitywide solution. Please get involved and help reduce the number of homeless animals and put a stop to euthanasia.

Joanne Schoch, executive director, Humane Society of the Nature Coast, Spring Hill

State's logging devastates forest | May 21 letter

Work was not what it seemed

I'd recommend to the letter writer and anyone else concerned about logging or anything else happening on the Withlacoochee State Forest that you talk to the Division of Forestry. And do so with an open mind, so maybe you'll hear real reasons why things are being done.

Foresters would not, as implied in the letter, remove turkey oaks to get ready to harvest pines. That would just be extra work, and isn't needed. The work she saw was most likely done to help restore an ecosystem where underbrush had grown unnaturally large and would no longer be controlled by the natural means — fire.

Ken McLaughlin, Zephyrhills

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Mom says same-sex classes can help girls and boys 05/26/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 5:45pm]
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