More letters, June 29

June 27, 2014 

Parking predicament

I read with concern your article about the new policy restricting night parking on the UNC campus (CHN, June 26, bit.ly/1oaleHh). It is my hope that it will be reversed or at least postponed to allow broader public comment.

As a laboratory director, I do not look forward to telling my staff scientists that they may return to the lab, after dark, on their own time, to advance medical research, and pay $5 a week for the privilege.

The policy discourages visitors from the community who attend evening seminars, sporting events and performances, or use campus facilities.

The policy affects our housekeeping staff who work after hours when public transportation is not available.

Henrik Dohlman

Professor of biochemistry and biophysics

UNC

Help kids have an OKAY summer

I am in 10th grade, and have had the privilege of attending summer camp every year since I can remember. Science camps, music camps, sleepaway camp, all of it, and some of my best memories are from camp.

Unfortunately, many kids in our community don’t have resources for these activities. Their parents work one or more jobs all summer and can’t afford summer camps or time for vacation with their children. Consequently, the children stay home watching TV, caring for younger siblings, or getting into trouble with other kids. Also, it has been proven that lack of some structured activity in the summer only exacerbates the achievement gap.

However, I recently learned about Opportunities for Kids and Youth (OKAY), which formed to address this problem. OKAY is a group mainly of women from various churches that provides some funding, recruits volunteers for programs in community organizations, and gives families information about free or scholarshipped programs.

OKAY found that a limiting factor in having more programs is lack of space. Over the summer, there are many school and church buildings that aren’t in use. Places like that are perfect for summer programs, and one thing that OKAY tries to do is connect programs to available spaces.

As a community, it is our responsibility to give all our children the best chance they have to succeed.

Please help our community children by advocating for more free or low-cost community programs, helping programs get started with space through churches and other organizations, ideas, and volunteers.

You can also be involved by joining the OKAY team, providing supplies, money, or volunteering.

It takes a village . . .

For more information about OKAY, contact Connie Gates at conniegates@huno.com

Emma Friedman

Carrboro

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