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What you need to know for 01/20/2018

No matter how busy, parents can still make time for kids

No matter how busy, parents can still make time for kids

*No matter how busy, parents can still make time for kids *If Latin Kings are so good, let them clea

No matter how busy, parents can still make time for kids

We have all heard the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child.” There is no doubt that we need a strong village to support us in raising our children, but we as parents or caretakers must provide the foundation and framework for our own children.

In the April 22 article, “Early reading mentors critical,” retired professor Al Magid proposes a novel yet common-sense idea for making sure kids in Schenectady are entering kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed.

Instead of having mentors matched with kids, he proposes having volunteers train parents and caretakers in providing the fundamentals of reading to their own children since, as he states, they are “the ones that are with the children day in and day out.”

His approach was criticized in an April 26 letter to the editor as being unrealistic. While that may be true in this day and age, I find it sad. The writer states Magid’s “proposed remedy would have had a better chance of getting off the ground in an era long past, when parents were more available and had the time and motivation to participate in reading-related activities with their children.”

I am wondering exactly when that time was. Forty years ago, I was a kindergartener living in a two-family house in Schenectady. My father owned a struggling business and most days didn’t come home until after I was asleep. My mother worked full time to help support six kids and care for two aging parents. While there were few nights that my mom was able to sit down with each of us to read, she found the time to take us to the Schenectady library and expose us to books.

With all the demands placed on her, she also found the time to make sure we stayed on top of our homework, were involved in school activities and participated in sports. She volunteered her time to these activities as well. She found very little time for sleep and little to no time for herself. Two things I never remember my mom doing are complaining or asking for help. Her kids were her responsibility and her “motivation,” and she made the time.

The only part of Magid’s plan that I feel is unfortunate is the necessity of volunteers to train parents and caretakers. I truly empathize with struggling families, but I question whether it is any different in this day and age than it ever has been. Or, is the only thing different our society’s attitude?

Tricia Farmer

Burnt Hills

If Latin Kings are so good, let them clean gang tags

Re April 25 article, “ ‘Bad guys’ do good”: Glad to see that the Latin Kings are such good folks, what with all their sweeping and mopping.

Do you think they would mind cleaning off all their gang tags on the garage doors and fences on East, West and Center Alleys in Schenectady? Sure would be a help.

I guess until they do, they will remain a bunch of deadbeat losers just like those other gangs we hear about — at least in my mind, that is.

Betty Hughes


Obama has done well, after what he inherited

Re Stephen Desmonie’s April 25 letter, “Social Security another empty Obama promise”: Considering the mess left by the previous administration, we are lucky we had any economy at all.

Cuts or no cuts in Social Security was the least of the problems President Obama had to tackle in the months [after] he took office in 2009.

We are familiar with one or two of them: The president had to save the banks, save Wall Street, save the auto industry and deal with a war entered into because of lies and, oh by the way, instead of the depression we were headed for, we are coming out of a recession.

I am sure the president is very sorry for not cleaning up that mess as fast as [some people] want; some in Congress want to use the same “austerity” policies that got us into this mess in the first place, so now he [is] fighting that.

I guess his offering the Republicans some of what they have proposed as a compromise — cuts in Social Security — still is not enough.

Diane Hombach


Being against ‘ultimate fighting’ a no-brainer

Re April 25 editorial, “OK ‘ultimate fighting’ ”: Kids will emulate ultimate fighting technique, but without the conditioning, or the protections and restraints of officiating, or the benefit of a padded ring.

We are assured, absolutely assured, of brain trauma from “ultimate fighting” by kids, maybe by adults as well. Do not legalize it!

And for adults, should it ever be legalized, require medical coverage for all participants!

Lynne Graburn


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