To the Editor:
Today is 2014 where preschools teach children the names of objects, colors, shapes, letters, numbers, some begin to recognize written words and a child entering kindergarten is expected to start reading. But unfortunately many children do not attend preschool. According to the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) quote; "(C)oncerns about the future trajectories of young children of immigrants, especially during the transition between pre-kindergarten and elementary school, a period critical to a child's development and academic preparation. Any disparities in school readiness may carry through the rest of K-12 education, lowering the educational and socioeconomic attainment of the growing number of children from immigrant families. For example, Dual Language Learners from Spanish-speaking households enter kindergarten with substantially lower literacy skills than those of children from English-speaking households, and the gap between the two groups improves only slightly by the end of the third grade. In particular, children from Mexican immigrant families score significantly below national norms" end quote.
During a previous FUSD Board Meeting Supt. Dr. Nishino and Asst. Supt. Michael Johnson stated FUSD had "many students entering the 4th grade lacking academic English skills" to comprehend the text books.
The Education Testing Service Policy Report assessed the Dept. of Education's National Adult Literacy Survey found, quote; "Those who began speaking English before they were six years old scored nearly 80 points higher, while those who first studied English between 7 to 13 years old were (at) 60 points" end quote.
School is in session 190 days a year, a little more than half. With class breaks, children are exposed to maybe four hours of instruction in English where teachers do not talk constantly. Much of the English heard is from kids their own age; not the adult level needed to attain the academic English Nashino and Johnson spoke of. The idiolect of a child before entering kindergarten is important to their success throughout their education; particularly after 3rd grade when knowing academic English is required to understand science, history, social studies texts. Fourth grade is a watershed year; studies show that a child not reading proficiently in the 4th grade has a 78% chance of not catching up.
Years ago listening to radios, TV or going out in public you heard adults speak English, even when another language was spoken in the home. Today we have Spanish TV and radio channels. Fillmore has neighborhoods where English is hardly heard. A child watching a movie in English hears as much, if not more, adult English than a day in school. Many immigrant parents think their child's rudimentary English is proficient, when it is not.
The ideology that the immigrant families need to be protected and not told their child should start school knowing English is a real disservice to those families.
We have campaigns telling people to eat vegetables, or talk to your child from the day they are born. But not one campaign telling immigrant families the importance of learning English to give their children a better chance at a successful education.
To the Editor:
HEALING POWERS OF THE ARTS IN AN AGING POPULATION AND FILLMORE SENIOR CENTER âTAKE OVERâ
If the Senior Center is dismissed as simply a building, a brick and mortar âfacilityâ with income potential, then all sense of Community is lost.
With the recent announcement by the City of Fillmore to âtake overâ (Their choice of words) the Fillmore Senior Center, and the dialogue that has followed, I am compelled to speak to another aspect of the discussion. This aspect is the Healing Powers of the Arts in an Aging Population.
I became involved at the non profit Fillmore Senior Center Incorporated as a teacher of the Art of Water Color in 2008 at the invitation of Marie Wren and Mark Ortega. They, with the Board of Directors, graciously stepped up and began to take the Center into a new, productive and Community minded direction following a period of what appeared to be a fragmented and ineffective existing management structure. Their vision was generated, and maintained by subsequent Boards of Directors, through a belief in the value of providing a viable and stimulating gathering place for our adult population through art classes and other interactive programs. The non profit, Fillmore Senior Center Incorporated (Corporation) is focused on the people served at the Center, and, has developed the physical space into a welcoming environment!!
To my point, recent and powerful research supports the Healing Powers of the Arts in an Aging Population! I am privileged to have seen the arts in action creating a positive environment for healing. This is true for all ages. If the Senior Center is dismissed as simply a building, a brick and mortar facility with income potential, then all sense of Community is lost!
In the years that I have taught art at the Fillmore Senior Center Incorporated, I have not seen a council member nor any city personnel visit on site to observe the dynamic nature of the programs available there. Volunteers and other personnel are individually invested in the Center as an integral part of Fillmore. Because I am teaching on site only once a week, is it possible that I have just missed such visits?
There is yet to be adequate, open and transparent dialogue involving the City of
Fillmore, the non profit Fillmore Senior Center Incorporated, and public input as the City of Fillmore seems to be moving forward with its intent not to renew the non profitâs lease in 2015, which at this time, appears to be a giant step backwards!
Retired Registered Nurse, Artist, Art Teacher
To the Editor:
Dear Members of the Fillmore Community,
I am writing to give you an update on the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registryâs (ATSDRâs) work at the Pacific Coast Pipeline Site. ATSDRâs goal is to protect the health of the people of Fillmore. To do this, ATSDR is investigating the possibility that contact with soil from the site could contribute to human health effects.
ATSDR Pacific Coast Pipeline Health Consultation (draft for public comment) is still going through our agency's scientific review process. While this review process takes longer than weâd like, we look forward to finalizing the draft and making it available to you and other members of the Fillmore community in early 2015. Thank you for your patience.
In addition, separate from our Health Consultation report, but in keeping with our goal of protecting the health of the Fillmore community, ATSDR provided comments to the City of Fillmore on the Fillmore Works Specific Plan Initial Study and Notice of Preparation of an environmental impact review. You can find our comments attached.
If you have any questions about ATSDR's work, please feel free to contact me by email or at 415.947.4318.
Health Educator, Region 9 (Pacific Southwest)
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)