To the Editor:
I remember coming to this beautiful island two years ago for the first time. The beauty was absolutely amazing, but the thing that truly sold me on moving my family here was the community. There is no other area with such a close-knit family feel. There is a comfort knowing when you are at the park with your children, they have not only your eyes for protection, but also the eyes of others that care for and love them as much as you.
The education and childcare my children receive from the programs on this island are second to none and they love to attend school. I left a family but found an even larger one in this small community. I have to say this scenario can only be found in Boca Grande, and thanks to the programs that Friends of Boca Grande offer. Munchkins, Boca Buddies, and the After School program give children a sense of belonging and comradery, instilling values in our future at a young age.
You can imagine my, along with other parents, disappointment when hearing these programs would no longer be offered. This will create many problems but due to lack of paper space I will mention a few top concerns. The Island School is a charter school. This school exists because parents work or live on this island and choose to take their children there to learn. If parents take their preschoolers off the island, they will take their school-aged children off the island as well.
The Island School obtains the majority of its students from the Munchkin program and to abolish this would be turning our backs on the importance of the Island School. This is a time of economic uncertainty and a lack of programs on the island will result in families moving from the area. The fact that these programs are offered is a huge attraction for individuals considering the move to Boca Grande. This affects not only the children but the future for many programs and opportunities that exist today.
With quick research about the island you will find children’s photos abound. The four-digit phone book, Friends of Boca Grande Website, and the visitors guide are all examples. I hope Friends of Boca and Marta Howell will please reconsider the direction you are currently taking this community.
The parents of these children are willing to participate in the fight to keep Boca Grande a family island.
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