Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Hebron Crossroads 10 - 13 & 20

Hebron Crossroads 10 - 13
by Jeff Gill

When our children are threatened, we want to respond. That’s a fairly basic human impulse. Even when children not our own are in danger, our reaction is to jump to assist.

How do we prepare to deal with a possibility of danger when we don’t even know what the emergency situation is? There are ways to organize and plan for a situation like a “stranger abduction” or lost child, so the response time for using volunteers is kept to a minimum.

A “Community Response Team” (or CRT) is a fairly common concept in larger towns or cities, but for a village like Hebron to have a CRT is somewhat unusual, certainly in Ohio.

Oct. 2 was the first full-fledged drill of our Hebron CRT, started at the end of the Council Meeting with the municipal complex as the gathering point. The first calls went out at 8 pm, and while the last few calls were being made, at 8:20 pm there were 18 present and ready to respond, and by 8:30 pm 50 local residents joined around 25 council members, village employees, and police & fire personnel.

Lt. Larry Brooks has been doing the leg work on this plan, with Chief Carney’s full backing. Larry was recently promoted from Sgt., replacing the retiring Lt. Glenn Watson, who stepped down after over 20 years of public service in law enforcement around the area. “Sgt.” Brooks attended a workshop that gave him a vision for what Hebron could have organized in advance, and after talking to the chief and to some folks in the village such as your columnist, the plan became a reality. As the CRT co-ordinator for Lt. Brooks, I want to thank Wes Baker of Hebron Methodist, Bill Van Meter of Hebron Nazarene, Lonnie Aleshire of Licking Baptist, Connie Wildermuth for Hebron Christian, and Jeff Geist at Hebron Elementary for being calling team leaders for their respective institutions.

It was a real pleasure to see the crowded council chamber, with the extra doors to the lobby opened to accommodate all the interested volunteers. Lt. Brooks gave an overview of what Hebron Police and other law enforcement would do while the CRT divides up into search parties to go out and cover assigned areas, each under a police officer with a radio for contact with the command post.

Mayor Mason liked the idea of orange vests that could be quickly issued, and other suggestions are being evaluated by the HPD. The CRT folks will not be involved in house searches, roadblocks, or any other hazardous activity, so our main equipment need is for participants to dress for outdoor weather appropriate to the day or night they’re called!

Still on the municipal front, the new parking lot is getting heavy use on Saturday mornings at Evans Park on Refugee Road. The Union Township Trustees have been a great help in making this expansion possible, with Jack Justice commenting that “there’s a lot of township residents getting a whole lot of benefit from that park.” When we come together for service, amazing things can happen, and it’s been a pleasure to report on so many such instances recently.

Both soccer and flag/tackle football for the younger kids have their strong supporters, and their respective organizations have put some real teamwork into making the game and practice schedules work out, including around the grueling home game tailgate schedule over in Columbus! Everyone wants early Saturday morning, but the share-and-share-alike philosophy has been a good example to our children by the adults.

Teamwork is sure typified by achievements like the state runner-up trophy brought home by the Lady Lancer softball team, and their work is honored by signs at the village limits. You can see them at the top of the signage for a number of Lakewood achievements by the “Hebron” signs. That’s a good reminder to all of us to support our Lakewood School District team Nov. 5 (and don’t forget absentee ballots if you’re going to be out of town that day).

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and a home owner with a “Lakewood Yes” sign in his front yard; if you have Lakewood or Hebron area news to share, call 928-4066 or e-mail disciple@voyager.net.

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Hebron Crossroads 10 - 20
by Jeff Gill

Hebron Public Library’s “Storytime” program has already begun for the fall, with sessions on Tuesdays from 11 to 11:30 am until December 3.

Children need to be accompanied by an adult, and both get to hear a story and participate in a craft activity. Holiday cooking trivia is one of the subjects coming up, and every week is a treat specially prepared by the Hebron librarians.

If you have questions about “Storytime” please call 928-3923. The library is behind the municipal complex. There will be no story time during Thanksgiving week.

“Hebron Reads” has also started at Hebron Elementary, but it’s never too late for new reading tutors in this program.

Begun as part of Gov. Taft’s “Ohio Reads” initiative, the results of the program have been challenged by folks who obviously have never participated in reading tutoring, because the intention of the program was never simply to improve reading skills, but to focus volunteer resources on children who are struggling with reading and a variety of other learning skills.

The real test of “Ohio Reads” will not be short term test score bumps, but in longer term areas such as graduation rates and overall achievement. A child who finds reading extremely frustrating in 1st and 2nd grades will likely struggle in many areas over the years, and the tutoring and mentoring from “Hebron Reads” gives the teaching staff an extra tool to fix problems before they even begin.

Could you read to or with a child for a half-hour or hour a week? Call 928-2661 and leave a message. Kudos to Mrs. Frush and Mrs. Henry for the work this reading tutor has seen them put in already this year.

Of course, what a child benefits from most is seeing the adults in their life reading at home. I’ve heard in recent years about programs in cities like Chicago and Cincinnati called something like “All On One Page,” or “Cincinnati Reads,” where a particular book if selected, made available in a variety of locations through schools, libraries, and service groups, for as many as are willing to read during a particular time period.

The idea is that with “everyone,” or at least a whole bunch of people all reading the same book around the same general time, conversations will naturally spring up on the subject or area of the writing, usually a relatively short novel, whether recent or classic.
Some books selected that I’ve heard of include “To Kill A Mockingbird” or “The Yearling.” What would be a good fit for Hebron? This column would be happy to assemble a reading guide and some discussion starters during the reading period set, but you readers need to help me with some suggestions.

If you have ideas, even if they’re just subject areas, and especially book titles, please pass them along to me. As folks at my church know, I’ve been recommending quite often a non-fiction book called “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” This is a short book with a lasting impact about dealing with limitations, both physical and spiritual. I also think “Johnny Tremain” is much more than a children’s book, and maybe one of the best American novels around, but that’s just me. What do you think? Our kids will be watching. . .

You may not know that October is “Family History Month,” and you also may not know that Newark has recently obtained and started developing a “Farm Park” north of Cedar Hill Cemetery on Rt. 79. The hope of the Newark Park Department is that this will be a working 19th century farm, and Beth Deering, the site manager, is collecting furniture and recipes from descendants of the farm’s original occupants.

That’s a long way out of Hebron, but I’m telling you because on Sat., Oct. 26 at 11 am I’ll be doing a program entitled “Your Family History: A Story Worth Telling!” This is not going to be about genealogy, which has many expert practicioners in this county. We’re going to talk about the how and in what ways of gathering your family stories into history that lives and breathes for you and your descendants. Come join us on what will surely be a beautiful fall day.

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and an avid reader; if you have suggestions for a “Hebron Reads” book selection, call 928-4066, or e-mail disciple@voyager.net.