The start of school
Parents can be involved in so many ways
In recent days you published two very informative and helpful articles: School bells at times ring in behavior issues (Aug. 20) and Make a healthy start this school year (Aug. 23).
Both of these articles will help prepare students and their parents for a successful year. However, there is another essential factor that should not be forgotten as the school year begins, and that is the necessity of parental involvement.
There are so many things parents can do, such as attending conferences and open houses; volunteering to work in the classrooms, offices or libraries; participating in the PTA; supporting the sports program and club activities of the school; sending items needed in the classroom such as refreshments for parties or items for a treasure chest; and offering to do projects at home to be sent into the classroom.
Ask your children what they are studying, be aware of when progress reports and report cards are sent home, make sure your child completes homework assignments, check classroom work, sign papers and return them when due. The list goes on and on.
Our children are our most precious commodity. The school, parents and children form a triangle, and each one depends on the others to be successful. Parents are helpful to reinforce what is learned in the classroom. Parental involvement lets a child know that you are interested in his/her education and that you value the work the child is doing.
The new school year is beginning. Parents, are you ready?
Marilyn Warner, Clearwater
The issue: funding the arts Aug. 19
Cultural matters really do matter
The interviews of various mayoral candidates in the Neighborhood Times were important and appreciated because arts and culture are a major part of the quality of city life and economic development. St. Petersburg has large private and public investments in cultural matters, not all of which approach maximum potential.
The candidates did their best to respond in general terms but are constrained by our significant cultural choices, tough economic times, and a lack of a clear blueprint to guide and encourage arts development and balance the public and private roles.
What is clear is that there needs to be community ownership of the idea that arts and culture are important to all residents, and to make this a sustainable part of the city scene.
James R. Gillespie, St. Petersburg
Let's hear of plans outside downtown
I listened to the candidate forum on Bay News 9 last week and heard for the most part what all would offer for downtown St. Petersburg.
However, many did not mention what their plans would be for the rest of St. Petersburg. I live on the west side of the city and would like to know if any candidates have plans for beautification and control of panhandling over here. It is quite bad and I see them moving over to our end of town daily.
It would be nice to see a walking retail area along Central Avenue from the Pinellas Trail to the Treasure Island bridge. It's a nice area, and if the historic Park View Hotel ever gets completed, it would be a nice place for tourists who don't like being on Gulf Boulevard but still want to be close to the beaches. We could use some beautification over here also.
I love downtown and am a patron of the arts and sports, but it would be nice to see Central Avenue improvements from the bay to the gulf — eventually.
Kathleen Mendelssohn, St. Petersburg
Mayoral race a bit clearer Aug. 19, story
Poll did not reflect diverse reality
I was very disappointed by this article, which was based on a poll by the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership.
After reviewing the poll on the Downtown Partnership Web site, I learned that the majority of the 400 respondents were white and over 55. And this is the basis for an important story on the status of the mayoral election?
I expect more from the St. Petersburg Times than taking a page from Fox News' school of journalism.
Elizabeth Vanneste, St. Petersburg
Does Gibbons know where the jobs are?
It is interesting to hear and read the views of the candidates for St. Petersburg mayor.
After seeing one of Deveron Gibbons' commercials, which seem to be saturating the TV, I have a question. In the TV ad a man says that "we need jobs, and Deveron knows where they are."
So, why doesn't he tell us now? What happens if he loses the election? Will it be a secret?
Walter Staggs, St. Petersburg
Curbside recycling supporter gets vote
I have been told that Pinellas Park makes money by recycling. Ask them how.
I'm voting for the candidate who promises curbside recycling.
Lois Gail, St. Petersburg
To helpful young man, thank you
A note of thanks to the young man/Good Samaritan who recently helped my husband and me (both seniors) on Gulf Boulevard. We had pulled over because of a flat tire. Without hesitation, he asked if we needed help and proceeded to change the tire for us.
To you, young man, a big thank you. You have restored our faith in the younger generation!
Connie and Ed Zierhoffer, St. Petersburg