Our Readers’ Views

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Make the most of child’s first year

It’s not your grandmother’s kindergarten anymore.

Every parent and teacher wants a child’s school experience to be a happy and successful one.

The more emotionally and academically prepared a child is for entry into the school system, the more likely this will occur.

Times have changed. Along with cutting, pasting, drawing and recess, academic achievement has been thrown into the mix. By the way, naps disappeared years ago.

In kindergarten, your children will learn to:

o Identify upper and lower case alphabet letters and the sounds that each letter makes.

o Write their names and a grade-appropriate short sentence.

o Recognize high-frequency words on sight (40 to 100 words). A list of high-frequency words may be had for the asking at your school.

oBegin to read.

oCount, write and recognize numbers up to 100.

oRecognize basic shapes and simple patterns.

Kindergarten! What a wonderful time for you and your child.

Working with your child’s teacher and positively reinforcing the work done at school with 10 minutes of review each night will make it more likely that your child’s first school experience will be a happy and successful one.

Steve Wells

Battle Ground

Governments need taxes

Dave Anderson repeated a myth about taxes in his Dec. 19 letter, “Effort to spend other people’s money.” The wealthiest Americans do not pay 71 percent of “all of the taxes.” They only pay a majority of one kind of tax, the federal income tax. But the wealthy don’t pay most of the taxes overall, including payroll taxes, sales taxes, state income taxes, property taxes, etc. It’s certainly not true that the poorest 40 percent “pay no taxes whatsoever.” As for income taxes, the richest 10 percent of Americans should pay 71 percent of that tax. Why not? They have 80 percent of the money. Seems fair to me.

Anderson quotes Margaret Thatcher’s saying, “The (socialists) always run out of other people’s money.” But he ignores the context; Thatcher was arguing against real socialism. She wasn’t trying to argue that nobody should pay any taxes. After all, everything the government spends is technically other people’s money. That isn’t socialism, unless you define socialism as having any kind of government at all.

If Anderson is opposed to that, then perhaps he should declare himself an anarchist and move to some other government-free utopia.

Mark Workhoven

Vancouver

Tougher times ahead for jobless

In the current economic climate, I have been a victim of a dilemma that I never knew existed. I am a teacher and was employed by a large Christian school in the Vancouver area for five years. Last June I was offered a job for the 2010-2011 school year and then it was rescinded three days later with little reason as to why I would not be retained. I immediately tried to get employment at another school, but at that late stage there were no jobs available.

I applied for unemployment insurance benefits and was turned down. I was told that nonprofits did not have to participate if they did not want to, so I could not draw unemployment even though I had worked for five years, the job was not renewed, and I could not find employment.

I did not know that companies had the option to participate in state unemployment insurance programs.

The result has been devastating to my family. I have still not found a teaching position and have used all our savings along with having to withdraw our 403(b) and 401(k) retirement funds. With unemployment benefits being extended again recently, I feel this is a matter that warrants some public discussion.

Jim Sheppard

Vancouver