Opinion

Your time well spent | Editorial

We have our fingers crossed that voters will see the wisdom of investing in San Juan Island’s public schools and vote to renew the district’s capital and technology levy.

Though nearly twice the previous four-year cap-and-tech levy, the timing on this one is right.

Many of the facilities are in sore need of repair or improvement. And spending $1 million over the next four years to upgrade computers in the classrooms and in vocational programs, and at district headquarters, should pay dividends down the road for all.

Still, your personal support for our public schools need not end at the ballot box. In fact, we’re of mind that one of the best contributions you can make to help a student succeed is with the gift of time — yours, that is.

In that arena, opportunities abound. Here’s one that deserves strong consideration.

Juniors enrolled in Friday Harbor High School’s Community Service Class first select and then work to complete a project they feel would be an asset to their community. The greenhouse that recently sprang up across the street from the high school is a prime example.

Students enrolled in this class, about 30 this semester, typically undertake, refine and then bring their project to fruition with the help and guidance of an adult mentor who brings a degree of real-world knowledge to each particular endeavor.

Projects from last semester included building nests for ducks in Beaverton Marsh, raising awareness about the benefits of dental hygiene and rejuvenating the dugouts at the softball field.

However, according to Jenny Wilson, Community Service Class instructor, a number of students have yet to latch onto a mentor so far this semester and would benefit by having a dedicated adult to help shepherd their project along its way.

But even if you don’t have the time to be mentor, there’s yet another way to contribute. Consider becoming one of a dozen or so volunteers who will take on the all-important task of critiquing, evaluating and providing feedback to the students about their projects. The Community Service presentations take place near the end of each semester.

To find out more about becoming a mentor or an evaluator, contact Jenny Wilson, by email, jwilson@sjisd.wednet.edu, or by calling the high school office, 378-5125.

In providing our children with the tools they need to succeed, there really is no substitute for our time.

 

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