Letters to the Editor, Oct. 5-7, 2016
Federal program offers vital assistance to school kids
After my first year teaching students with special needs, I spent my summer doing prep work and wondering about my students. Will they retain what I taught them? Are they safe? Do they have food? Last year, I was shocked at the family situations of many students: parents working 3-4 jobs trying to make ends meet, and single mothers raising kids after escaping abuse, all in addition to having a kid with severe disabilities.
Our school provides meals and a safe place for many students. Federal programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps these families put food on the table in summers and over the weekend. Recent U.S. Census data last week found that SNAP lifted 4.6 million Americans above the official poverty line in 2015.
What does this mean for families? The cash value of the SNAP benefits keeps families from making decisions between food and other necessities, such as clothes, heat, or water.
I urge our Congressmen to protect SNAP. It helps real kids and real Utah families.
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Student takes a stand on stand-up desks
I am a seventh-grade student at Ecker Hill Middle School. I am writing to you with a concern about how long we sit every day at school. At school we sit for five hours on a typical day. A study was done and found that if you sit for a long period of time your body will tend to shut down. If you do not move throughout the day, body weight increases and you also have a higher chance of developing diabetes.
One way that we can fix this problem is having stand-up desks in our classroom. The Mary Lee Burbank School in Massachusetts has provided a couple standing desks for a second-grade classroom. The second-grade teacher noticed a change in their learning right away when the students could stand and move their bodies throughout the day.
In Park City, we live an active lifestyle with our ski mountains, hiking, biking trails and all the active sports clubs. This active lifestyle should continue in the classroom. Personally I cannot sit still for 45 minutes and focus on my schoolwork. I know my classmates feel the same about this.
On juststand.org it suggests to write a grant to have the standing desks become a reality for your school. We could also start with only a couple desks per classroom, and have the teacher report how the students are doing with the standing desks. I feel like this a legitimate concern and the standing desk will help every student pay more attention at school.
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County needs to increase frequency of recycling pickup
As I wheel my trash and recycling can out to the curb, I notice as I look up and down the street that other people’s recycling is overflowing while the lid on the trash is fully shut. My family recycles much more than we throw away items, and it looks like all of my neighbors do the same thing.
When the garbage truck drives down my road, I always grumble at how little trash there is and how much recycling there is. If we could make every week a recycling week, then the amount of trash entering the landfill would drop and the amount of reused materials would explode!
If we made every week a recycling week, and only do trash every two weeks, we could make Park City a healthier place for not just the citizens, but for all the tourists who come and ski, mountain bike, and everything else Park City has to offer! We could help keep houses clean and keeping recycling off the ground, but we would also be helping the mountains preserve their natural beauty by recycling paper and plastic so we can reuse it!
Think about it. Do we really need a trash truck driving around picking up nearly empty trash cans? We should really start looking into this development. It will help our community and strengthen the environment. If we can recycle more, than we can preserve the beauty of the land around us. Who knows what will happen if we don’t deal with this quickly? We need to deal with this issue now!
A reader involved in addressing mental health in Summit County applauds Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz and his wife Elena Amsterdam for their efforts to help mountain towns wrap their arms around the issue.