Regarding Caleb Patterson’s May 15 letter, “Help schools resolve budget woes,” as a paraeducator at Vancouver Early Childhood Center, I know Bart McManus (an earlier letter writer referenced by Patterson) fully supported the school that gave his son the extra help he needed to succeed. I’m sure if saving our program was a matter of pencils, he and every parent who has a child at VECC would contribute. In fact, most parents do. They supply crayons, glue, tissues and more. Other supplies that are no longer in the school budget already are being purchased by nearly every teacher, in nearly every school nationwide.
We want to save the specialized education VECC offers its students, who come to us when they turn 3. It’s often the first time they’re away from home. VECC eases a child’s transition to a bigger school.
I remember my first day at VECC. I left there amazed with what the school provided. Everything is toddler-size: tables, chairs, gym and playground equipment, even the restrooms. Safety precautions are built into the classrooms. We know all of the children in the building and what extra attention they need. Moving our program into three separate schools will spread these valuable resources too thinly, and I’m afraid that our littlest, most-dependent students will be forgotten.