2009.11.17 Kay Barber: State budget should show supporty for children

Written by David Green.

It’s the middle of November and the State of Michigan fiscal year 2010 budget has been finalized; there were no winners. The cuts were deep and will affect every one of us.

As a member of the Lenawee County Great Start Parent Collation, I have paid particular attention to those cuts that affect children. Funding for child care, K-12 education, early childhood education and public health programs were among those that saw cuts, and the final list is long and depressing.

This state budget is a reality and as I review this list of cuts I ask myself what do we do now? Two things come to mind:

1. We can come together as a community and support each other. Since I’ve had kids I realize how much truth there is in the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” Where would we be as moms without the advice of other moms; we seek it at every milestone, big and small.

2. We can continue to let our representatives in Lansing and Washington know how much our children mean to us. I have seen that Lenawee County is a community that cares about our kids. In order for Michigan to have a strong future we need to invest in our greatest asset–our children.

I belong to a group that shares these two views, the Lenawee County Great Start Parent Collation. We are a group of parents that gathers once a month to connect with each other and share our wisdom (whether it comes from failure or success). We have discussions about potty training, preschool and everything in between. We enjoy a brief break from all the responsibilities that comes with being a parent (and childcare is provided).

We also have a passion for advocacy. We have taken trips to Lansing, met with legislators, and written more than a few letters to let those who govern know we want the best for our kids.

If you are like me and care about kids in Lenawee County, I encourage you to join us. Check out the Lenawee Great Start website at www.lenaweegreatstart.org  or give us a call at 517/424-1000. We hope you can join us in making Lenawee County a great place for kids.

– Kay Barber
711 Company St., Adrian

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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