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Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor;

I’ve read the entire American Rescue Plan for Pocahontas County.  Many new perks have been added. I find it especially supportive that additional resource personnel will be provided.  It is a great move to provide aides for first grade teachers, when reading and writing are crucial skills.  Cognitive psychology is supported in recent research. In a nation where 60% or more of our students are unable to read proficiently, it is imperative that we take the right steps.  One step is the climate of the classroom.

I find it appalling that Marlinton Elementary School was left out of the equation to receive air conditioning. This school is the only one with a concrete playground providing heat directly into classrooms. During an afternoon read aloud in a third grade classroom, it reached 97 degrees.   I was the read aloud volunteer! Windows will open only a fraction of inches so the amount of air received by students is of very low quality. If memory serves me, Marlinton Middle School has windows that open wide.  In addition, Marlinton Elementary has the largest number of students. I’m assuming you’re making this decision because of the flood plain.  Still no reason to punish staff and students at MES. Are they considered second class citizens? 

The air conditioning unit could be roof mounted. Some businesses are still thriving in Marlinton. In Germany with flooding, they’re not leaving their students without.  In the Midwest with flooding, the students were not hung out to dry. In our neighboring county schools still exist in the flood plain.  Our students are our most important asset– the future of our country and our county and you’re going to leave these students without air. Marlinton Elementary should have been your first priority.  I find your decision lacking common sense.

Jan McNeel
Hillsboro and
Pt. St. Lucie, Florida

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