To the Readers:
As of press time on Thursday, March 8 I am holding my editorial, pending what happens this week with the Friends organization. I have reason to believe that things might change between then and now. If things change for the better, we will all be much relieved.
If they do not, you will find my editorial here next week on this subject of after-school care and the Munchkins program.
Editor, Boca Beacon
To the Editor:
To the powers that be ... for the sake of our wonderful, loved and enjoyed (by all ages) community of Boca Grande, as well as, and most importantly, the children: Please do not run the young families and their children off the island.
This week a good friend informed me that the Munchkin Program at the Community Center has been terminated, and Laquata Meade summarily dismissed. You do not have to be a working parent of one of the toddlers to understand how important the Munchkin Program has been, and hopefully will continue to be, to our little community of Boca Grande. The parents of these toddlers work at our restaurants, clean our houses, landscape our yards, and serve us at our local shops.
On Tuesday I attended an “informational meeting” regarding the discontinuation of the after-school program. I was informed we were not there to discuss the Munchkin Program ... why not? The Munchkin Program is as valuable, if not more so, as the afterschool program. I moved to Boca Grande 19 years ago, and I stayed because it was a true community. I have volunteered my time for just about any and all youth-related activities. They are our future and I loved how it takes an island to raise wonderful human beings.
My son is on the Munchkins waiting list. I've been hearing about this magical / miracle program being offered in our community for four years. Now his time has come up to attend the program and we are told it could be axed!
When I chose to move back into this area from Orlando, I had a huge decision to make for my children on where I felt was best for them. Coming from a place with lots of franchise-run programs, I knew I was looking for more of a personal experience. After looking into The Island School and hearing wonderful stories about the after-school program, I knew this was the perfect location for them. For the first time, my kids ask me to wait 15 more minutes for them to stay.
After hearing that the after school program was being changed and that Munchkins was being terminated, I attended the informational meeting to receive answers to some of my questions. I can’t say that too many answers were given. Most of the questions were skirted around or simply ignored because if they had been answered it would have been in contradiction to what had already been said. Boca Grande is a very special and unique place for what it offers, not only to the elderly population but to families.
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