YOUR OPINION: Letters to the NEMS Daily Journal

By NEMS Daily Journal

Avoid summer slide with diligent reading
Statistics show that children who do not read during the summer months lose at least one month of instruction. Researchers often refer to this loss as the “summer slide.” This loss is especially seen in low-income (poor) children. However, children who do read during the summer months enhance reading skills.
Reading improves your children’s reading skills, but it also helps develop their speaking abilities, writing skills and expand their vocabulary. Educators know that summer reading is important for children, because it results in better academic performance when they return to school in the fall. When asked about the importance of reading during the summer, Bryson, age 8, responded, “It will help your brain and if you don’t read you will flunk the next grade.”
In efforts to help promote your children’s learning, continually read books with them during the summer. Not only read books, but other forms of print are acceptable. Forms of print include magazines, comic books and even your grocery list. Environmental print such as road signs, building signs, billboards, and JumboTrons are other forms of reading material. While driving through town point out different print and ask them to read it to you. Get them involved in summer reading programs or visit the public library regularly. Keep in mind that during this time reading should be for enjoyment. If you’re having trouble helping your child find a book, try these simple steps:
1)Turn to a page in the book.
2)Ask your child to read the page.
3)If your child can’t read at least five words on the page, direct he/she to another book.
Keep in mind that our children’s success depends on our active involvement of exposing and keeping them engaged with reading. Avoid the summer slide of reading by sliding into a good book!
Andrea Watson, 2nd grade teacher
Lawhon Elementary

Feelings of parents were ignored in article
I am a longtime reader of the Daily Journal. Rarely have I read an article with which I disagree so strongly as with the one appearing in the Monday, June 25, edition, page 2A, first column.
To report the death of a child then detail how the parents are to be sentenced to jail in an unrelated matter is inexcusable. Clearly, the reporter has never lost a child and has little concern for the parents’ feelings or the emotional devastation that accompanies such a traumatic event. The reporter might try to be a little more considerate when reporting such articles in the future.
David Allen

Castens’ column rang true about care
This is to commend Errol Castens for an excellent article on the Editorial Page of June 22, 2012. Every child with older parents should read this article. I like that it is not written as mandatory or an expected approach to treating parents who have grown old and nearing death. It is simply an admirable option as conditions and the heart dictate. My hat is off to Errol (and his wife) for being open to the option of making it possible for his Dad and Mama to die at home. In my work, I call this pastoral care to the core.
Ron Richardson

Will and Thomas should stick to their politics
George Will of The Washington Post and Cal Thomas of The Los Angeles Times should stick to pushing conservatism and Republicans while leaving the writing about rock and roll musicians to the likes of Sheena Barnett of the Daily Journal and Pat Cochran of The Oxford American.
Will’s column in the Daily Journal on June 21 about the Beach Boys and their 50th anniversary tour reads like the band’s Wikipedia page (other than his seemingly wanting to give Ronald Reagan credit for the band forming, his questionable jab at Elvis Presley and what he got factually wrong).
Will claimed Elvis – at a decade older than they – asked the Beach Boys for advice about touring and “…he has been dead for nearly 35 years and they play on.” This seemed to me a gratuitous slap at Elvis by the northeastern columnist, especially after an extensive online search to verify the claim produced only the column in question.
Will was and is fully wrong with “…The Beach Boys are the first American band to enter a second-half century.” This is not even kind of true, as multiple bands have made that mark, most notably the Ventures, who have been rocking with original members since 1958.
A Cal Thomas column previously printed in the Daily Journal was even more offensive: the rigidly conservative columnist wrote about and criticized Bob Dylan for releasing an album – which is part of what Mr. Dylan does for a living – and the name of the album. The problem: Dylan did not release the album, nor has he ever any with a name even kind of like what Thomas claimed.
Will and Thomas should lay off the rock and roll and stick to politics. Both can best serve Daily Journal readers by explaining how the party of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gerald R. Ford has become the party of George W. Bush and George Romney’s son.
Chico Harris

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