Letter to the Editor

Support for kids out of the classroom

It was very encouraging to read the report on the recent visit by state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler (D) and Doyle Heffley (R) to Southwark Elementary School’s after-school program as part of a statewide tour (“Fiedler visits after-school programs across PA,” May 17). As the report states, these two members of the Pennsylvania House are co-chairs of the PA House After School Caucus, devoted to investing in high-quality out-of-school programs that provide students with sound environments to develop and be mentored.

Thanks to the report, this is the first I have learned of this wonderful program. Its aim is to give kids a safe place after school where they can get help with homework and other forms of guidance. I especially like Heffley’s comment about including creativity in the plan.

Obviously, with so much disruption and violence in too many Philadelphia communities, it is a source of hope to know that there are lawmakers looking out for the protection of our children especially in the hours they spend out of school. This includes professional supervision of their time and expert help with their progress. So it both keeps them safe and helps them grow in many ways.

As with all such programs, the main key to success is sufficient funding. Workers should be adequately paid. Public education in Pennsylvania in general needs more attention and support from lawmakers of both parties. Our children in Philadelphia especially require healthier learning atmospheres, especially the air they breathe and the water they drink.

So, I think we should all applaud state Rep. Fiedler for her dedication to improving and safeguarding the lives of our children. Let’s hope and pray that the entire state legislature unites in supporting adequate funding to guarantee a healthy, safe environment for all our children both in and out of the classroom.

Gloria C. Endres