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.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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