March 24, 2009
Dear Mr. Russo and Gifford Staff,
I am writing to you today in regards to the interview I had given to The Racine Journal Times concerning school snacks. I wanted to first convey that in no way, shape or form did I ever intend to disparage Gifford or its educators. I am and always have been very outspoken about my support to public schools and Racine’s teachers. By reading some of the comments following the article, you may think I feel otherwise. So I wanted to make that clear right off the bat.
I would also like to explain how this article came about. One morning I found out that my step daughter (whom I have helped raise since 14 months old) had been taking her allowance to school to buy junk food at snack time. Her father and I were not aware of this and she explained the snack cart to us. Until this time, we knew there was a snack time, but never knew snacks were sold to the kids with the exception of the popcorn Fridays and occasional ice cream. So, needless to say, we were surprised. As I thought about it that morning, I decided to write a blog on the subject. I write on a personal blog site several times a week – anything from personal situations to local politics to movie reviews. If you would like to see the original blog of which I speak, here is the link: http://cheersrayne.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!656F9A4108C3E513!6719.entry
I also sometimes share my blog entries on The Journal Times website if I am looking for advice or suggestions. This is when a reporter contacted me and asked a couple basic questions regarding what I had written. So, that is how this was all brought to a head.
I know the difficult position schools are in right now. And while my sympathies do not necessarily lie with Unified – they most certainly lie with the educators within the district. I realize the snack cart as an idea was and is a good one with positive intentions. I just think that more common sense and planning could be put into choosing the items for the cart. It is no secret that children are getting heavier and heavier and doing less and less. While I believe all lessons and education need to start at home – I also think it is the school’s responsibility to not undermine the lessons we should be teaching our children. How can a teacher explain to a child about the importance of the 5 food groups and nutritional values when five minutes later the kids are encouraged to buy a Ding Dong? That is all I am trying to convey.
I appreciate you taking the time to listen to what I have to say today. Please feel free to ever contact me if you wish about this or any topic. I do try to make an effort to be an involved parent.
Heather Rayne Geyer