2018-01-19 / Letters

Community steps up to help youth in South Portland

To the editor:

One of the great joys of being in public education is working with our students, their families and the surrounding community. Seeing children learn, grow and thrive is the reward we all seek for our combined efforts.

When students and their families encounter barriers and difficult circumstances, learning and thriving are severely impacted. Over holidays and during challenging periods of weather, those barriers are felt in especially acute and painful ways when families cannot provide all that they need and want for their children.

That’s when the larger community steps in. Working quietly behind the scenes are service organizations, faith-based groups, other local families and students, businesses, city employees and citizens. They help collect and distribute everything from coats and hats to food and holiday gifts. Also helping are the area food cupboards and programs that assure a ready supply of easily accessible provisions in the neighborhoods and our schools.

Because they are not on the front lines as they do their work, and never seek attention for their efforts, we would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank and acknowledge all those who have so generously given of their time and resources. They are those for whom it is just second nature to lend a hand, and whose reward, like ours as a school staff, is seeing children and their families learn, grow, and thrive. The knowledge that many hands joined together as a community have helped in this goal is a true gift, for which we are infinitely grateful.

Jane Eberle, director of business partnerships South Portland School Department

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