Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Hebron Crossroads 3-16-03
By Jeff Gill

Youth leaders are blossoming all over the Lakewood district these days.
Speaking up like Molly Morgan and other high schoolers did at the public forum with the school board, or earning their Eagle Scout award like David Scheidegger of Troop 27 has, they’re all around if you look, along with the daffodil shoots around the houses in Hebron. You just have to be paying attention. . .
A few weeks ago, Cub Scout Pack 33, chartered to The Dawes Arboretum, had their Blue & Gold banquet at the American Legion hall, and Cubmaster Ed Fuentes and his wife Rexanna did a great job of decorating the place and arranging the meal and program with the den leaders.
Three young men earned their "Arrow of Light" award, which is the highest and last advancement honor in Cub Scouting before crossing over from Webelos to Boy Scouts. Congratulations to Seth Bowman, Kyle Cooperider, and Zack Cooperider, who were met on the other side of the Webelos crossover bridge by representatives of Troop 33 and Troop 4 where they’ll join next.
Not long after that, Prime Producers 4-H club had their election of officers for their new program year through the Hartford Fair in August. Over 30 young people and dozens of parents and family members were in attendance as Drew Cable, the outgoing club president, directed the meeting.
New officers are Joey Cormican, president; Aaron Dunkle, vice-president; Lexie Messenger, secretary; David Cable, treasurer; Kelsey Lane, news reporter ( a very important position, in this correspondent’s opinion); Jared Halter, health officer; Taylor Besch, safety officer; and Jacob Cormican, recreation leader.
The club, which meets again March 23 at 6 pm in the basement of Hebron Christian Church, also voted to have a booth at the Fair this year, and to have their club project that everyone does be "Rocketry." Mr. Bindle, a Lakewood shop teacher, will advise them on technique and safety.
In fact, there is a presentation at every 4-H meeting, usually done by a youth member, which explains the lambs baaing away in the ladies room when this writer arrived!
Kudos to Drew for a great year behind them, and best wishes to Joey for the year to come; it’s not too late to join, but project selections are going on now. Martha and Dave Cable are the club advisors.
Hebron Elementary PTO is hosting a "Spring Fling" craft fair this Saturday, March 15, from 10 am to 2 pm with babysitting and refreshments available at the school on Deacon Street at Eighth. Come support the parents who are working in and around the school to help the teachers and staff with extras that no one pays taxes for. All you have to do is buy a brownie and some lawn art to help out! Lyn Lockwood is looking for you, so plan to attend.
See, I didn’t mention the levy-taxes-school stuff ‘til a ways down this week; although I was thinking that I’d better mention that the board has made a tough decision with some public airing of disagreement (good), and a vote that wasn’t 5 to 0 (actually, good), followed by a spoken commitment to support each other and the levy committee now that the vote is done (very good).
While the minority opinion is that the danger of spending down our reserves to zero is very real next year, the consideration for the juniors this year who might lose their senior year with no way to adapt is also real. Their vote was to make every conceivable cut short of extracurriculars, with the proviso that those, plus academic cuts, will inevitably come next year if we don’t increase revenue to the school system significantly in the next six months or so.
And as Dave Dernberger pointed out as regards his child, we are in fact already making academic cuts when reading teachers are shifted away from reading to cover general classroom assignments.
As a fallen away reading tutor myself, I can tell you that volunteer reading help is vitally needed, but you can’t build a consistent program around the dozen or so of us who do it. Pam DeVaul of the board and other public spirited community members give their best, but we aren’t there every day, and many of our kids need that guiding, helping, *teaching* influence daily to grow in learning.
In regards to folks who asked why teachers don’t take a 20 percent pay cut like someone in the aircraft industry did during the recent downturn, I have good news. They’ve already done it. Committing to stay in the Lakewood Schools means you’re willing to make about that much less than you could in many districts an easy drive from Hebron.
Don’t say the teachers aren’t doing their part; and come Saturday to buy a door wreath that gives ‘em a few dollars to buy classroom supplies with. On what they make, buying their own bulletin board materials and pictures of George Washington and Harriet Tubman for the classroom is asking a bit much. . .but they do it anyhow. Stop by the building and see sometime, they’ll be glad to have you.
Of course, they may ask to sign you up as a reading tutor!
Wednesday, Mar. 19, starting around 5 pm, the Interfaith Legal Clinic that is offered every third Wednesday in Licking County is coming to the south for March and April. Hebron Christian is hosting again, and anyone who needs a free hour of advice from a lawyer is invited to come between 5 and 7 pm. Due to demand, only the first 50 applicants will be taken.
This is a volunteer program of lawyers who are moved by their faith commitment to give back to the community in this way. They do not provide legal representation, just that hour of counsel, but as many of you know that can make all the difference as you figure out what to do next.
Check-in will be at the east door off of Church Street, and you may have to wait, but the lawyers present Mar. 19 and April 16 will get to all of the first 50 present.
So look out, we’ve got a herd of lawyers coming through the Hebron Crossroads! And we appreciate their coming down this way to give us all a hand.