Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Government Waste

Yes, it’s a waste that this program is ending

An organization that has provided mentoring and other services for thousands of area students is closing its doors Friday, after losing the federal grant that sustained it.

Communities in Schools of Sangamon County was established in 2000 by Springfield parents and concerned citizens after the 1999 Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colo. The goal was to connect students thought to be falling through the cracks with trained mentors who would regularly meet with them, document their progress and encourage them.

CIS also provided job-shadowing, mock-interviewing and drug-prevention
programs. It trained college and high school students to tutor elementary school
students in reading and public speaking. It gave free books to kindergartners
and partnered with other organizations that run Teen Reach sites.


Students with CIS mentors typically saw their grades rise and disciplinary citations drop, according to a performance evaluation by the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Well, we have to find the money to keep the Iraq war going and let’s not forget the need for more tax cuts for the rich. Kids struggling in life should just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, I say. And, hey, if they need some direction in life later, the Bush wars will surely be still going on when they are old enough and they can sign up and let the Army be their mentor. Problem solved.

Seriously though, why was funding cut? Did someone locally drop the ball on a grant request? Did anyone try to get some intervention from local congressmen and our two U.S. Senators? Something like this program should have been held up as a model for other communities not allowed to die for lack of funding.

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