Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Governor correctly sets priorities on spending
Gov. LePage is working to bring Maine's fiscal house in order by prioritizing spending. When are the members of our Legislature going to understand that we must prioritize what is to be spent?
There have been numerous "pet projects" through the years, such as subsidizing MPBN to the tune of $3.7 million. Think what that amount of money could do to help with heating assistance during this coming winter.
Federal money to the states for heating assistance has been reduced, so Maine will be forced to reduce the amount of heating assistance offered to homes throughout the state.
In our homes we set precedence for what we spend, and usually the "needs" come well before the "wants." It is time for the Maine Legislature to work to that end. I thank Gov. LePage for his efforts and hope that he will continue to press toward fiscally responsible government.
Kids need early exposure to range of people, beliefs
Children start learning about and being affected by their environment from birth, and soon enough, the tones of sounds they hear become the tones of words. They are beginning to build their individual "box."
About 20 years ago, I attended an unusual but fantastic presentation on "boxes" that changed the way I think about how we learn. Each of us has a "box" to store what we know about the world. The "box" gets filled with our impressions, influenced much by what other people say or do, beliefs, nonbeliefs.
The theory is that human beings need "boxes" to keep their perceptions and realities. Otherwise their experiences would slip away from them, and they would be bereft of the appropriate responses. "Boxes" hold positive thoughts and actions, but unfortunately, they can also hold antisocial feelings and actions.
At 3 years of age, children are ready for school. This is the time not just to introduce them to the alphabet or the sum of one and one, but to introduce them through talk and play to children with different upbringings, religions and races and to teach them to listen to and respect others' opinions and beliefs.
We need to consider adjustments to elementary, middle and high school curricula to find time to have class discussions and appropriate activities. We cannot ignore these older students, and we have to give them a chance at developing or changing the negative information in their "boxes."
But our children start to learn at a much earlier age to store the messages that can make their lives more pleasant and can make their contributions to a healthy and forward-moving society. That's why it's important for them to start their social education as young as possible.
Esther B. Clenott