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Public Comments - Published Writings

Read to children
Polk County Itemizer-Observer

October 16, 2001

I am writing this letter because I need your help.

Over the past few weeks, people have been very generous in terms of asking how they can help but I didn't know how or what they could do.

The truth is, our unit's activation has created much uncertainty.

However, I have concluded that there is a way people can help, if they want to.

Since the fall of 1999, I have made it a priority to read to the first-graders at Monmouth Elementary School.

The project, "Leading through Reading," was inspired by a conversation my friend Jim Torrey, the mayor of Eugene. He impressed upon me the symbolic importance of community leaders teaching children citizenship through the simple act of taking time out of a busy schedule and reading to them.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to read to the first-graders for some time because of my current duties with the United States Air Force.

While I am proud to be serving my community (at a distance again), I truly wish I could be able to keep my promise to the students at MES.

Therefore, I am asking you to help me keep that promise. I need you to pass on to every community leader, to read to the kids for me.

In fact, I am asking that every citizen -- leaders, followers, spectators -- seek out opportunities and read to our children.

Showcase the importance of reading by going to the classroom and sharing with them.

Mary Gabaldon has been a tremendous help. She has coordinated with her peers and made it happen. I encourage any/all that want to help to contact her at MES (or her colleagues at other elementary schools) and schedule a time.

At this point in history, it is more important than ever to show our youngest citizens the importance of reading, writing and expressing ideas.

Our future is waiting for us to show them we care.

Paul Evans
Monmouth

 

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