Plan for our childrens activities
I would like to take this opportunity to respond to Pem Attaway's letter to the editor in last week's Press about the planning session for the future of our town that took place two weeks ago. Mr. Attaway points out the very upsetting issue about the lack of representation of "the young people whose future town is being planned." The reason for that lack of attendance of young families is that the planning session happened to be on the same night, and exactly at the same time, as the Melrose Avenue School open house. When forced to make a choice, most parents chose their children's education first.
Had I known about the planning session earlier, I would have called and warned the meeting planners of this conflict, but I had seen no notice about the session until that very same day in the Press. I did email them the next day to complain about the timing of the session, and to give my opinions, but I have yet to hear back from anyone.
The underlying problem here is that Jamestown has evolved into a very difficult place to raise a family. We hold open planning sessions to talk about street lighting, sidewalks and building aesthetics, but our baseball fields are in shambles despite the efforts of many hard workers. Our school department cannot seem to maintain teachers or administrators, which is having a profound effect on the continuity of the education of our students. Our school enrollment is continually declining, forcing the reorganization of our teaching staff every year (where are people going?). Our teen center had to be run out of the back of a van for almost a year and our town beach offers no amenities for anyone, much less families.
My family loves Jamestown and our kids would never hear of living anywhere else. But when you compare Jamestown with other neighboring communities such as South Kingstown, North Kingstown and even Newport, the opportunities for our children are very limited and never vary. We are intrigued by the thought of a new bike path which seems to be in the works, but where are the arts programs, and other non-competitive activities? Where are the game nights and movie nights? Where are the social events and family learning opportunities?
I thank Mr. Attaway for his commitment to this planning process and for his concern for families like mine. I encourage everyone to continue planning for the future of Jamestown and hope that all residents, both
Continued from page 6 young and old, will be part of that process. But I implore everyone involved to keep, not only the future needs, but also the current needs, of our younger generation in mind.