Letters to the editor for June 3, 2013

By Observer Upload June 03, 2013 10:26 am
Letters to the editor for June 3, 2013

Stay out of the political arena

To the Editor:

I’m glad a local dentist and a local businessman seem so happy to have their photo taken (May 27 Observer) at their little get-together with our local congressman, one of those responsible for the endless paralysis in Washington, D.C., the end over end fruitless and mindless votes to kill the Affordable Care Act and the sequestration of federal funds (let us hope he can wave his magic wand if we have a bad fire year and summon 500 trained federal firefighters and more than 30 engines the government is short). 

In another era, we’d have called these guys “fat cats” — they look so self-satisfied and confident in their

I don’t know about you but I prefer my medical and business professionals to do their jobs and stay out of the political arena. At the ballot box, we vote by mail. In other things, we vote with our feet.

Michael R. Rosenbaum

La Grande

Head Start program benefits community

To the Editor:

Eastern Oregon Head Start is currently engaged in outreach and enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year. 

Our local program, alongside all Head Start Programs across the nation, suffered a 5.27 percent budget reduction as a result of federal sequestration, but we are modifying our strategic plan to ensure that these cuts will have the least impact on the families that we serve. 

The foundation of Head Start is providing services that build on high quality preschool education for the whole child within the family. Eastern Oregon Head Start sets a national standard for preschool excellence with highly qualified teachers, use of the evidenced-based creative curriculum and the qualitative student assessment tool Teaching Strategies Gold.

Locally we employ teacher/family educators and family advocates trained in our Head Start’s eclectic approach to social work, which includes quality goal writing and motivational interviewing, to first ensure that our families have all of their essential needs met and then to support families to make positive changes. Head Start has very high health and nutritional expectations for students that include aiding in establishing dental and medical care homes to comprehensive screening across all developmental areas. We also work closely with early intervention to provide high quality special education and disability services. 

Head Start is a service provider and referral agency, as well as an active member of the community. Head Start’s staff members serve on many local boards and steering committees as we foster strong relationships with other service providers in the area, share resources and information, collectively apply for grants and advocate for those in most need. 

If you wish to support your local Head Start, I urge you to do one or more of the following: Contact our local legislative representatives and let them know what Head Start means to your local community; tell everyone that you know with a 3- or a 4-year-old to apply for our program in Baker, Elgin, La Grande or Union; tell a Head Start Staff member how much they are appreciated — they will soon be asked to provide the same high quality service with 5.27 percent less funding.

If you would like to know more about Head Start, I urge you to look at our revised annual report at http://www.eou.edu/hdstart/annual-report/. If you would like an enrollment application or to come visit us and see what we are all about, please call 541-962-3622.      

Robert Kleng

La Grande

Eastern Oregon Head Start