1. Opinion

Florida migrant association’s students show what is possible

Here’s what readers had to say in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
Jose Luis Morales works on his English in Mandy Johnson's second grade class at  RCMA Wimauma Academy. [SCOTT ISKOWITZ  |  Tampa Bay Times]
Jose Luis Morales works on his English in Mandy Johnson's second grade class at RCMA Wimauma Academy. [SCOTT ISKOWITZ | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Oct. 2, 2019
Updated Oct. 2, 2019

Education that is working well

The new school year

As children throughout greater Tampa Bay headed back to school, the Redlands Christian Migrant Association welcomed back students across 21 Florida counties. We are the state’s largest non-profit provider of early childhood education, annually serving 6,500 students, including more than 1,500 in Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Our two local charter schools, RCMA Wimauma Academy for grades K-5 and RCMA Leadership Academy for grades 6-8, enroll more than 300 students. Both are “B” schools.

RCMA Wimauma Academy third-grade scholars scored in the top 20 in the state in math. At RCMA Leadership Academy, 29 of the seventh- and eighth-grade scholars entered high school this year with Algebra I credits and nine with Algebra I and geometry. In civics, the seventh-graders’ proficiency scores beat the state and county, and eighth-graders topped the state and county in science.

Because of our success, we hope to open a K-8 charter school on the 34 acres we own in Mulberry.

I am especially proud of our students because I know firsthand the challenges they face. I grew up in a migrant family and traveled with my parents from northern Florida to North Carolina and Maryland and back. When you consider the stresses of moving, language barriers, poverty and a shorter time in the classroom, their achievements are all the more impressive. Founded in 1965 as Redlands Christian Migrant Association but firmly nonsectarian, we are headquartered in Immokalee and employ 1,600 people. We have more than 40,000 alumni who have gone on to become business and civic leaders through the state and beyond.

We thank our partners in the greater Tampa Bay area — including Wish Farms, Monte Packaging, Amalie Oil and the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay — for helping our students fulfill their potential.

Isabel Garcia, Wimauma

The writer is executive director/Head Start director of the Redlands Christian Migrant Association.

Restored faith in humanity

On this day, a family gathers | Oct. 2

This story renews my faith in humanity to see that there are still good people in the world; 1,500 people took the time to honor one of our veterans. It is said he had no family. At a time when there is little hope for the survival of our country, Edward K. Pearson taught us the value of life. A special thank you to all of the people who showed us the value of life itself.

Margaret Hyde, Clearwater

A cattle call for carnivores

For meat eaters, too good to be true? | Oct. 2

The half-pound cheeseburger with bacon at Frankies in Tampa.

This is one of the funniest articles I’ve read. It’s okay to eat tons of red meat and it won’t affect your health? That’s as laughable as men determining what’s best for women. For all the carnivores excited and now enjoying their meat lover’s omelette, I say, be sure to add plenty of salt to everything, as it’s a flavor enhancer and will surely speed up the process of cardio issues. Bon appétit! (That’s Russian for “to your health,” I say with a double twist of intended irony.)

Darryl David, St. Petersburg

Viva la revolución?

Trump’s congratulatory tweet

So President Donald Trump just tweeted congratulations to China for 70 years of communist rule. When is Cuba going to get its tweet?

Carlos DeCisneros, Tampa


  1. This is an artist's concept of an inhuman being—a life-size, lifelike mannequin, controlled by a computer—being developed in Los Angeles to help train hospital residents in anesthesiology. The model also will be used for drills in proper administration of drugs, proper placing of oxygen face masks, testing of the doctor's reaction to a massive heart attack and in other anesthesiological techniques.
  2. The Cross-Bay Ferry, St. Petersburg's Coast bike share program and the Tampa Downtowner
  3. Cars locked in evening rush hour traffic on Dale Mabry Highway near Raymond James Stadium in Tampa capture perfectly the failure of Hillsborough County's transportation system. County commissioners are rightly moving forward with a backup plan to carry out transportation improvements Hillsborough voters supported in a 2018 referendum. [ZACK WITTMAN  |  Times] 
  4. "Discrimination is wrong and should not be legally supported with public funding," writes State Sen. Darryl Rouson.
  5. Florida is better positioned than before the Great Recession, economist says.
  6. Mac Stipanovich
  7. From left, Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)
  8. Rep. Jamie Grant, R- Tampa, center,  is congratulated by House members after passage of the Amendment 4 bill, May 3, 2019. Florida lawmakers lost another round Wednesday, with a federal appeals court ruling the restrictions on felon voting rights are unconstitutional.
  9. It's not a bad time to be looking for a job. [Scott Keeler, Times]
  10. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, right, addresses a joint session of the Florida Legislature during his State of the State address in Tallahassee.