Norm Yoast: Help this village

— Help this village

To the Editor:

When you step into the Craig Middle School, there's a lot to see.

You'll certainly notice the entire staff either working with kids or preparing for kids. When you're in the middle of a crowd of kids, you might miss the leaky roofs, insufficient electricity, inefficient insulation and windows, outdated lighting, poor heating, poor circulation and old leaky and freezing pipes. And you might not notice the security concerns, and the outdated communication systems. Of course, the small classrooms, crowded stairways, cold locker rooms and lacking technology infrastructure are a little less obvious.

Still, there's some things you might want to know, or maybe you just might want to be reminded. We all belong to this village called Craig that is raising these children. We all worry about our kids. We all may not be able to afford the best for them, but we all should be able to provide them with more than this.

CMS has four science rooms, two designed in the 1950s. The other two are just modified classrooms. Studies show students learn better by doing, but our current situation limits hands-on science. In fact, the state science curriculum, the listing of what students should know by the end of a particular school year, requires a classroom with natural gas for experiments. We don't have it.

We have one sink and five electrical outlets for 28 kids and a teacher. There is no air exchange system for chemistry labs, which means the fumes not only hang in the classroom while they are in the science labs, but those same fumes linger in nearby classrooms and hallways for the rest of that day and, sometimes, the next. And it's not just the science rooms.

Unfortunately, the same problem exists for all the rooms at CMS. In the old wing, the average classroom has two electrical outlets in a classroom 24 feet by 22 feet. Remember these classrooms were designed and built before telephones were available for classrooms, before computers were in schools, and before most of our students' parents were even born.

Like you, I don't want to pay more taxes. I earn my money, and I'd like to keep it for my family.

But, there are two things to consider.

First, the direct effect on each homeowner is low. Second, our job is to raise well-rounded, well-educated, responsible children who will, one day, contribute to our community, our village. The children of this village need to learn in an environment that provides what they need to learn. The children of this village need you.

And on November 6, they need your vote. Please vote yes on 3A.

Norm Yoast

Science Teacher at CMS for 15 years

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