As a nation we are proud of providing public schools for all children and providing public library access to all citizens. In Ravenna we can be proud that the public school system and the public library are working together to improve the literacy of our children. Almost 250 children in grades 1-3 are enrolled in "STAR," an after-school reading program. This demonstrates that our Ravenna parents care, that the library board cares, and that the leadership of the school corporation cares. The school corporation -- the superintendent, the principals and the teachers -- have been extremely supportive in the library's mission to reach out to the children.
Now it is time for us to demonstrate our concern by providing the needed additional funding for our school system. The schools have not received new operating funds since 2005. This means that they have made many budget adjustments and they have run out of places to make cuts. They have been creative in raising money (private donations) for many projects. But they need operating tax dollars.
Our schools are in need of physical improvements and this costs money. They need new technology and safety officers. It all costs money. The request for a 4.9-mill levy seems very reasonable and small by comparison to other corporations.
We all talk about how the children are "our future" -- and it's true. And few things are more important than the education of our children. I hope that many of our citizen voters will step up and vote "Yes" for the Ravenna school district on Feb. 4. It's an investment in Ravenna's future.
Cass Owens, Reed Memorial Library Director, Ravenna