Updated: March 8, 2013 6:35AM
Facing school challenges
It was with a sense of excitement and hope that I placed my name on the ballot for the East Side School Board in the upcoming April elections. Fueled by the energy of our educators, the East Side student body gives me an unshakable faith in the future of our nation. Challenges will always be with us — however perseverance and creativity turn challenges into opportunities.
While it is certainly difficult to live through a season of tension and indecision, we can, and must, draw on our strengths; see that the district functions without fear; and give our young future leaders an educational opportunity that few others receive.
I was a student and young adult during the civil rights/women’s rights/persons with disabilities rights era. Fear gripped the country resulting in terrible tragedies. How was education going to handle all these new demands? School integration, affirmative action, special education. These were challenges that were met and overcome – and opened up American opportunity to many. We now wrestle with world-wide immigration issues, increasing special needs, language, identity and continued poverty issues.
We need a School Board that functions as the liaison between the schools and the community. School Board meetings must become a time and place where honorable people (board members, educators and community members) can brainstorm, debate, disagree, wrestle and then make informed decisions and policies that provide structure and vision for the district.
I desire to serve East Aurora by my election to a 2-year term on the School Board. These next several years are crucial to the upcoming decade, as a new superintendent must be found; integrity and trust must be restored; and several major societal issues will need be addressed. We needn’t be afraid, but rather be proactive and effective. There is no “‘bringing back the good ‘ol days” — there is only working on the challenges of today in a respectful, intelligent and effective manner.
Mary Louise Peryea
Foundation aids food pantry
The Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry wishes to thank the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley (www.CommunityFoundationFRV.org) for the $12,500 grant for our building addition.
Due to increased need of space to serve the community in 2003, our pantry purchased a building at 834 N. Highland Ave after serving the community from St. Peter’s Church. With our continued growth of dedication to meeting the community needs for over 50 years, we are expanding the capacity of our facility and services with a 2,040-square-foot addition.
The cost of our much-needed addition is difficult for a non-profit in this economic climate, where we count every penny and weigh the cost of where that penny is vested.
We are so greatly appreciative of the Community Foundation; with their assistance we were able to begin our construction without taking funds away from direct services to the community.
We are proud of the fact that our pantry continues to operate with volunteers and community support. The Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry continues to open our doors and hearts to eliminate hunger by providing 2-3 days worth of food to individuals and families in need during their economic times. Many of our patrons are under-privileged children, the elderly, low-income residents, and the disabled.
We have experienced a 68 percent increase in 2012, with new neighbors coming to visit us every week. A large percentage of our patrons are without stable employment and others are working for less income than they did in the past. By providing food at no cost, we can help these families meet their rent or mortgage payments, utilities and medical expenses.
Brian Dolan and Theodia Gillespie
Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry Board
Support Marriage Equality Act
I would like to encourage your readers to contact their legislators to support the Marriage Equality Act in Illinois.
It is time that we, as a society, embrace love in all of its forms, not just the narrow limits dictated by the various hate groups. Haven’t we had enough hate to last many lifetimes over?
For those of you who will cry, “freedom of religion”, I remind you that freedom of religion also means that those who choose not to believe as you do, are free from having your views imposed upon them.