To the Editor,
Many changes have happened to the John H. Taggart School since I taught there from 1966 to 1987. But even then, we were experiencing an influx of immigrants from Asian countries like Cambodia and Vietnam, most of them war refugees. We did not have ESOL teachers then, so the students had to pick up English by imitating their peers. It was especially difficult for those children afflicted with PTSD from their nightmare war experiences. There were simply no serious resources for them. I will never forget one little Cambodian boy who routinely threw himself to the floor screaming. He eventually calmed down, but I wonder what became of him.
Now, thanks to the comprehensive report by Grace Maiorano, I see that Taggart continues to welcome immigrant families from struggling countries. Only now they have resources I only wish we had had decades ago, thanks in part to partnering with companies like RevZilla. Their idea for a Family Welcome Center is exceptionally thoughtful and generous.
I must also extend gratitude to our Mayor Jim Kenney who has made education a centerpiece of his administration. Just the fact that he helped organize a return of the school district to local control is a real accomplishment.
Thanks also to State Rep. Elizabeth Feidler for adding her support for services to these children. Education should always be a community endeavor. And I am certain that the present Taggart administrator Nelson Reyes and faculty are more than grateful for all this help.
Stories like this give me hope for the world.
Gloria C. Endres
South Philly Resident