Clarifying the graduation numbers
We are grateful to the Chapel Hill News
for your recent positive coverage of the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate program (CHN, Nov. 21). As the director of the program, I want to clarify the numbers shared from our recent program evaluation.
BRMA claims a 97.5 percent graduation rate based on the 40 students who entered our program in fourth grade and stayed enrolled through high school; 39 of those students have graduated.
The article accurately reported that 255 students have enrolled in BRMA over the 16-year history of the program. However, 118 of those students are still enrolled in the program between the grades of 4 and 12. Ninety-seven students have left the program. Fifty-five of those who left moved out of the school district, 31 were dismissed from the program for lack of participation, and 11 were withdrawn at their parents’ request.
Our bottom line is this: students who remain in the program for its entirety are graduating at a rate of almost 100 percent, and the future of the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate students looks extremely promising!Graig Meyer Director of Student Equity and Volunteer Services Chapel Hill-Carrboro City SchoolsA smile and a hello make a difference
I was surprised at letters defending Harris Teeter employees in response to Carol Henderson’s My View column (“Pardon me, if you please,” CHN, Nov. 18).
The idea that someone would take the column as a personal critique of Harris Teeter service per se and feel the need to defend their employees was not my reaction to the column at all.
I totally and completely (unfortunately) identify with the harried people who frantically run through the store looking for something and not being terribly civilized about it.
I don’t think she meant that Harris Teeter employees aren’t friendly enough. From my point of view, she was using a small incident to make the point of how we Americans are perpetually and frantically rushed, and this was brought home to her after being in France and feeling the culture shock.
Thank goodness for Ms. Henderson’s story told with delightful relish (which I always look forward to). Isn’t it great as adults to still have someone writing who can include a moral to the story?
The moral being? We need to remember to acknowledge the folks around us as we rush about: a little sense of humor, a little friendly smile go a long way, n’est-ce pas
Ms. Henderson, please keep those columns coming!Sue Field Chapel HillVolunteers for Youth mark 30 years
Volunteers for Youth is marking its 30th anniversary this month.
To celebrate, Volunteers for Youth is honoring thirty individuals and groups who have been involved with the organization over the past thirty years. Each day from Nov. 17 through Dec. 16, a different honoree is being featured on the Volunteers for Youth website. From Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue to UNC Vice-Chancellor Winston Crisp to Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership’s Meg McGurk, you may be surprised to learn who is involved with Volunteers for Youth and why.
The 30-day celebration will wind up on Dec. 16. The Standard Restaurant on Rosemary Street will be serving a special Volunteers for Youth pizza that evening with 30 percent of the proceeds donated to Volunteers for Youth. Standard owner Nick Williams and his sisters Annie and Katie are all graduates of Volunteers for Youth’s mentoring program and will be the final, 30th, honorees.
Volunteers for Youth is the only nonprofit organization in Orange County focusing on delinquency prevention. Volunteers for Youth runs a teen court, community service, mentoring and girls’ group program and is a partner agency of the United Way of the Greater Triangle.Suzanne Worley Executive Director, Volunteers for YouthThanks to film screening attendees
Community Home Trust was proud to present “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Varsity on Franklin on Friday, Nov. 30 to kick of the holiday season.
We would like to thank our sponsors, Investors Title Insurance Company and Harrington Bank, for allowing us to offer a free showing of the Christmas classic to the public for the third year in a row.
With a “sold out” crowd for the free show, the Home Trust welcomed nearly 230 guests to the historic theatre.
New Home Trust homeowners and newlyweds Linden and Daniel Thayer shared their experience with those in attendance and expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to become part of our community. Thank you to our supporters, old and new, for your generosity! Nearly $1,000 in donations was collected at the event.
But more importantly, the community came together once again to share the lessons learned by George Bailey – each one of us counts. Happy Holidays to us all.Robert Dowling Executive Director, Community Home TrustChildren deserve equal opportunities
One year ago, when our family moved back to North Carolina, we chose to live in Chapel Hill. We believed the public school system in Chapel Hill is one of the best. We rent a home to send our son to Seawell. This year, when we were shopping our own home, our son begged us not to change his school. We made that commitment. We believe children’s education is the first priority in our family.
Today, I still believe what I believed. However, while I understand redistricting has to happen and believe the district has spent lots of effort to create these draft plans, I am strongly against Plan 1, 2 and 3, which will send our neighborhood kids to the farthest school, Northside, which is outside our community.
We live in a neighborhood with more than 50 percent minority families. This includes a large group of at-risk kids who are not identified as such but actually need support. These families have concerns, but they cannot or do not know how to communicate with school because of their language barrier.
The district has responsibility to encourage these minority families to address their concerns to school by using their first language. Putting this group of kids in Northside would not decrease but increase the number of at-risk kids.
One of the most important concerns I have is the long commute by bus, which could potentially cause bullying, and some of these minority kids cannot even tell what happened because of the language barrier, especially kindergarteners.
Kids are very vulnerable, and their fate is in our hands. We adults should make a plan to maximum the children’s benefits without bias. Our neighborhood kids deserve the equal opportunity to go to one of our neighborhood schools as other kids do.Su Dong Chapel Hill
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