2013-12-20 / Letters

Investment in schools is worth it

To the editor:

As a parent with two young sons in the RSU 21 school system, I admittedly have a vested interest in the outcome of the Jan. 21 vote within our community. If Kennebunk High School is not renovated by the time my 8- and 10-year-olds reach the ninth grade, they will attend school in a crumbling building with failing mechanical systems, leaking ceilings, sub-standard safety provisions and a smaller locker than they had in kindergarten.

On the flip side, as a working parent, I also fully appreciate the limitations of income that needs to be stretched over too many competing priorities. Whichever way you slice it, $114 million is a lot of money.

Although I understand the financial impact of this investment on our community, I was inspired to write this letter in support of the renovation project while driving to my old hometown in northern Maine during Thanksgiving. That drive told a sobering story of towns with derelict playgrounds, boarded up Main Street stores, empty parks and a distinctly vacant and abandoned air.

These are towns with no festivals on the common, parades in the street, craft fairs at the schools, or pancake breakfasts at church.

Simply put, these are dying towns with no children.

As someone who grew up in that area, the desolation of these towns is hard to see. It makes me extremely grateful that I am able to raise my children in my beloved Maine, but in a town that is alive and vibrant with the fun and energy that children bring to a community.

Go and visit some of the many towns in our state where the children are gone.

I assure you, these communities have a very different look and feel from Kennebunk. Kids cost money – sometimes a lot of money – but the investment is worth it in so many ways that we, regardless of whether we have children in the school system, can all benefit from by living in this beautiful town.

Heather St. Peter
Kennebunk

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