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Mayor's School Plan Must Embrace Youngest

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As a retired graduate social work educator, now in my fifth year as a substitute teacher in the Richmond Public Schools, I offer a comment about Mayor Dwight Jones' expressed desire to expand the Capital City Program (“Jones Unnerves Critics with Schools Pitch,” Street Talk, Jan. 7). Any expansion should take a downward direction in order to embrace our children in the lower grades.

Civility must be taught to the very young, or they and the rest of the community later suffer. There are many burdened, disruptive, disrespectful elementary school children, and, sadly, for them the task of child-rearing falls upon the schools. We must recognize and admit this reality. We have the opportunity to be national leaders in designing or building upon programs such as the St. Paul's Church's Micah Project.

Our city demonstrates indifference and neglect when we seize upon a remedial adolescent program as successful while one can identify kindergarteners who are blatantly later candidates for the CCP. Prevention is less expensive than remediation, in terms of both money and the moral and emotional health of our community.
Mabel Gilbert Wells
Richmond

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