Letter to the Editor: Supporting Ludington education.

April 23, 2019

Letter to the Editor: Supporting Ludington education.

Letters to the editor are opinion editorials submitted by readers. Letters to the editor are a long tradition in American journalism. The views and opinions of the writer do not necessarily reflect those of Mason County Press, its staff or its parent company. For more information, please refer to MCP’s Op/Ed policy.

At a young age, I realized how fortunate I was to be born and raised in such an amazing and caring community like Ludington. Over the years I’ve had many opportunities in Ludington that I am forever grateful for — being a member and leader of Mason County 4-H, Miss Ludington Area 2016, an AmeriCorps VISTA Member, and volunteering for many organizations. I am confident in saying that my K-12 education received from Ludington Area Schools set me up for success for the rest of my life. After graduating from LHS in 2012, I went on to receive my bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University in 2016. 

During my senior year of college, I decided to compete in the Miss Ludington Area Scholarship Pageant; much to my surprise, I won. It was very important to me to use this year to volunteer and give back to the community that had given me so much. During this time in my life, I learned significantly about the needs of our community. After college when an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) position became available in Ludington, I didn’t hesitate to join. As part of my year in service, I studied poverty in Mason County. There are many pieces that go into poverty, but one thing is for certain; supporting education helps eliminate poverty. Education is important across the board but Early Childhood Education is essential. According to the 2010 census, more than 1 in 5 children live in poverty. Children who live in poverty show higher rates of academic failure and an increased probability of grade retention. These children are twice as likely to repeat a grade and are 10 times more likely to dropout of high school if they don’t succeed in earlier education. We owe it to these children to support their education. 

  Our students deserve a safe, up-to-date, and inspiring learning environment. It wasn’t that long ago that I was a student in these buildings that I now volunteer in. These buildings are well used and bursting at the seams, and do not always provide the ideal learning environment necessary for success in the 21st century. We should support giving our children an education that allows them the same opportunities to succeed that other communities already provide for their students. My education gave me the tools to be successful, but education has changed drastically since I graduated; only seven years ago. For example, my class was the last to graduate from LAS without the use of iPads in the classroom. The level of technology and upgraded resources our children need is important for their future success. 

  Although I have no kids yet myself, there are multiple children in my life who all deserve the opportunity to succeed in the modern era. When I have children, I want them to grow and succeed in an educational setting that allows them the opportunity to go anywhere in life. These kids deserve to have the same benefits that I did, but with enhancements to keep up with the change of times. For these children, present and future, I am voting Yes to LAS on May 7th, 2019. 

Shelby Soberalski

Ludington

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