Save School Pools!!!
To all of you who hold the future of our school pool programs in your hands:
I am writing once again on this subject that doesn't go away. As an educator and a parent who grew up in Toronto and participated in swimming from an early age until I graduated from NTCI and went on to attend York U., I know first hand the importance of the programs.
As a child, I had difficulty learning in the classroom. Swimming gave me the opportunity to shine in one area of school, thus raising my low self-esteem. I kept fit throughout my elementary and high school years by taking gym classes, including swimming. I was able to pass my Red Cross Bronze Medallion and become a camp councillor at the age of 17. It was through my councilling experiences, until I reached age 20, that I realized I wanted to teach kids.
I later reached my dream and became an elementary teacher for a few years before having my own family to raise. Swimming was a major activity in my sons' lives as well as mine. Now, my son is carrying on the tradition by taking his 3-year-old daughter for swimming lessons.
Our pools were provided by our taxes. We must once again convince the various levels of government (whose funding comes from our taxes) that we will not let them take this valuable resource away.
Speaking of funding, if the government would acknowledge that a long-overdue new funding formula needs to be implimented, Toronto schools and City programs would be amply funded. It's very sad watching Toronto the Good becoming a broken down old city (outside of the business centre).
Some of the problems we are having with guns, gangs and violence on the streets need programs like swimming to help give young people purpose and confidence to achieve success in a clean live.
The Federal Government currently has a surplus, so get those people to take care of our city like they should. We pay a lot of taxes at the Federal level. All of you know how vital a healthy school environment plays in raising healthy children and teenagers. They are our future citizens, and will be sooner than you think.
I am currently teaching adult newcomers to Canada in the LINC program in Scarborough. Many times I have had to talk about our governments' decisions to cut programs and I get really upset when I realize how frequently the topic of cutbacks to the budget and to the services crops up. We have to fix our systems. Our children deserve to have clean, well-kept swimming pools, just like I had.
Sareh Wodlinger, Scarborough