Press-Republican

Opinion

April 15, 2013

Letters to the Editor: April 15, 2013

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I would also like to recognize the many nurses that we work with on a daily basis in partner agencies and organizations. Hospitals, nursing homes, physician’s offices, home-care agencies and adult homes all have vital services that are provided by nurses, and all play a key role in helping to make hospice services a success in our community.

To say that I appreciate the nurses that work with the patients we serve would be an understatement. Your dedication, compassion and skill in helping to meet the needs of those we serve is priceless.

KENT W. BROOKS

CEO

Hospice of the North Country

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After-school programs

TO THE EDITOR: The 113th Congress has an opportunity to not be known as a do-nothing Congress.

Congress will continue work on the FY 2013 federal spending bill and address the automatic spending cuts postponed until March as part of the fiscal-cliff deal.

There will likely be deep cuts to a host of federal programs, but an area congressman should think twice about slashing is education and afterschool programs. Investing now in the education of our children, especially in science, technology, engineering and math, will ensure our future leaders have the skills and knowledge to succeed.

Afterschool and summer learning programs, in particular, are a smart investment. Children who participate in these programs have better school attendance, higher grades and loftier aspirations about graduation and college attendance.

They often find the social and emotional supports they need, and they’re less likely to use drugs or get into trouble with police.

Children in afterschool programs are at lower risk of obesity. Young people also develop social and leadership skills in afterschool programs, as they interact with peers in cooperative roles and mentoring relationships.

Yet more than 15 million children in the United States have no safe, supervised activities after the school day ends. While parents pay over 75 percent of the cost of afterschool programs, federal support for these programs is critical to keeping children safe, inspiring them to learn and providing a lifeline for working families who otherwise are faced with leaving children unattended in the afternoon.

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