Letters to the Editor

School Levy: Art, PE, benefit our students

I would like to begin by thanking the Oak Harbor community for taking the future of our children in their hands by passing the school levy four years ago. As a teacher at Crescent Harbor Elementary School I know it has made a difference, notably with the art and PE programs. We can continue thinking about the future by renewing the levy March 8. There will be no new taxes, just a continuation of what we started in 2001.

There are so many positive aspects of establishing professional art programs at the elementary level. Art our students produce is truly amazing and stops me in the halls every day. I have observed many of our more active students remain totally focused while completing he details of a current art project. The art methods and history taught will inspire the passion in a future artist, much the same way a great teacher inspires the love of reading. The best thing about this program is that the art does not stay in the schools; the art teachers share it with the community every spring in stores and shops all over downtown. I hope everyone has had the chance to see what has been produced because it is a worthwhile benefit from our levy dollars.

Physical education is arguably the most popular time of the day for most of our students. They are educated about good fitness, better eating habits, the benefits of teamwork, and how to have fun while staying fit.  Many recent articles have focused on children and obesity. PE programs around the country are invaluable to helping children lose that weight. 

This year PE teachers at the elementary level started an after-school sports program to give our students a chance to compete against other schools. The year began with soccer in the fall and the level of participation by students, teachers, and parents was overwhelming. I heard so many positive comments from parents, including one on how much weight her son had lost in the course of the seven-week soccer season. Volleyball is now being played as we have moved indoors for the winter. The season will end with softball in the spring. The students love participating in sports after school as there is no money required, no uniform or equipment to buy, and plenty of opportunities to play.

The best investment a community can make is toward the education of its children.  There is more to that education than a test score. Come on out and see for yourself — take in a volleyball game on Thursday afternoons or walk down a hallway and pretend your in an art museum — you will like what you see!

Walt Bankowski

Oak Harbor

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