Archive for Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Something good is coming

January 17, 2001

Something good is going to happen! Something Wonderful! So goes the gist of a one-sided conversation between HAL9000 and Dave, an astronaut from the movie 2010. Our minds are full of those lines from movies that impact our lives and live in our conversations. For me, at least, they also wrap new situations in a more significant package than first presents itself. These significant lines heighten my understanding and awareness of the event and seems to give it even more power and potential.

For the past week or so, this line keeps cropping up when I think of a couple of meetings that I have been a part of recently. Two of us from the office were asked to attend an informational meeting of a group that is working to put together a grant application for the 21St Century Community Learning Centers. This grant is designed to help communities implement after school programs targeted at a whole range of issues from remedial help in math, science and reading all the way through health and nutrition, cultural enrichment and recreation right on to Adult education and Senior Adult programs. It is a broad reaching and inclusive program that has the goal of involving all aspects of the community in its scope.

The grant program is designed to center most of its program offerings in the local schools, but demands that more than just the school administration and staff be involved in the development and leadership of the program offerings. It makes the whole community take a look at itself and determine where it will focus its energies to bring about good to the community. It then gives that community a means to positively influence each member of the community in ways that haven't happened before.

The most wonderful aspect of this for me is that demand. Representatives from most of the working groups and organizations in town are forced to honestly identify weak areas and look for ways to improve them. Obviously, the main focus is on the kids of the community, but any thing that impacts on them or the community as a whole is within the boundaries of the program. We get a chance to all see what everyone else is doing and try to make one big picture of the community and determine what is the best way to fill in the gaps.

The most obvious thing to me was the sheer magnitude of things that are already happening in town. It is natural to become so focused on your own area that you never see what is happening with others. Another fact that was brought to my attention was how well we are doing the things we are doing. We were told that one of the difficulties we would have to face was the fact that we don't come close to meeting the "badness" criteria for the grant in many areas.

It would be at this point that many would choose to assume that because we don't meet the low standards criteria we have nothing to do. It is the nature of this community that the group involved in this project is not satisfied to just let it go at that. They recognize that all is not as it could be and are working to make Baldwin a better place to live. Tells you something about our town, doesn't it?

In order for this to happen, we all need to help out. In the next School District Newsletter, you will find a short survey. It will take just a couple of minutes to read and fill in. Please do so as soon as possible. That information is essential for the group to focus on which areas should be addressed in the grant application. It will give them a direction for us all to work toward.

It is highly probable that in the near future, another line from 2001, A Space Odyssey would be appropriate to describe Baldwin City

"My God. It's full of stars."

Calendar

Jan. 13 First games for the basketball season.

Jan. 14 Softball pitching clinic (4 weeks)

Jan. 21 Softball skills clinic

March 24 Boater's Safety Course. More details to come.

Adult Basketball (4 on 4) registrations are being accepted now. Cost is $75 per team. Contact the office for more information. Hurry! We need to get the League started.

15-18 Year Old Baseball Players: If you might be interested in trying out for any of the LABA baseball teams this summer, you will want to attend a Parents Meeting and sign-up for try-outs Sunday at Legion Acres at 6th and Castle in Lawrence. Those who do not sign-up Sunday will not be notified of tryouts later this Spring.

Monte the Dancing Bear boot-scootin' today. Baldwin City Recreation Commission; 820 High Street; Phone, 594-3670; e-mail, baldrec@knetconnect.net

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