Time for SAD 61 to come together

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What is a community?

There are three different definitions. The first is a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. The second is a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals. The last definition is a group of interdependent organisms of different species growing or living together in a specified habitat. All three definitions are very similar in explanation, however there seems to be a great divide in the needs of our school district and how to solve those needs. SAD 61 is our community; we all want what is best for the district and the towns.

I would like to focus on second definition. Community is a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of common attitudes, interests and goals. With the reopening of Crooked River Elementary School proposal, there is a common attitude on both sides.

The Yes movement strongly supports the renovation and reopening of this school. The interests, although different, are definitely intertwined. The goals for both movements seem equally important for both sides.

The No movement is strongly opposed to this reopening and renovation. The No movement is trying to protect their school that they believe will be closed. However, they are using misinformation, fear and manipulation to acquire support. While the Yes movement wants a long term solution that will solve the overcrowding problem at Songo Locks Elementary School. This is what the Yes movement is trying to acquire for the overcrowding problem at Songo Locks Elementary School, not to close any other school. Voting yes on the referendum on April 12 will not close Sebago Elementary School.

Our community should come together and support all of our children in all our schools of SAD 61. We are Lakers. It should not be one town against the next. Lately it certainly has seemed as though it is at times. We are one community. My family has enjoyed various events and programs in all four of our lovely towns without ever being told no, we can’t participate because we live in Naples not Casco, Sebago or Bridgton. Please don’t say no to the many children and families now. We are one community of people with similar ideas, interest and goals. We all want what is best to educate and allow our children to thrive in their schools.

In conclusion, a Band Aid of moving children in portables or busing them to other schools only to ensure eventual overcrowding will not fix this problem like it has in the past. We need to invest this money, time and our support into this issue in our community now. The time to reopen and renovate Crooked River Elementary is now. The cost to our community will only grow the longer we wait. We are only hurting our youth, resources and teachers in the long run.

The cost of 13 cents a day and $4 a month is not too great for our young and will not hurt anyone. Stand with us on April 12 and vote yes to the renovation and reopening of Crooked River Elementary School.

Katie Leary-Allen

Naples

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