'Camp K' draws praise from teacher

As a preschool teacher, I know that early childhood education helps kids thrive in school and in life.

But too many children living in poverty here in Tennessee do not have access to high-quality programs, such as pre-K, that prepare them for kindergarten and give them an equal opportunity to succeed. Many never catch up to their peers.

But I'm encouraged because, as mentioned in last Sunday's Page One story, "Camp K: Chattanooga 2.0, partners hope to give students a jump-start on kindergarten," more children in Hamilton County will be able to attend a summer learning program that will help prepare them for kindergarten. I'm even more encouraged by the inclusion of families in this program, because we know two-generational early childhood education programs are particularly effective.

I look forward to seeing the results of this critical program and encourage city and state leaders to expand it in the years to come.

Madeleine Patton

Home visitation programs can help

As a mother and teacher, I have seen how high-quality early childhood education and intervention programs help children thrive. Both of my children attended Head Start classrooms, and this put them at a huge advantage as they entered public school. Without the support and help from the community, my children would not be the productive, successful adults they are today.

I am encouraged by Mayor Andy Berke's support and emphasis on early childhood education, and on Chattanooga's interest in expanding critical home visiting programs to families across the city, as mentioned in the May 11 article "City to explore developing home visitation program for new mothers." Home visiting has many advantages, including decreasing postpartum depression in new mothers and helping families become more financially stable.

Children living in poverty who do not have access to high-quality early intervention programs such as home visiting often fall behind their peers and may never catch up. Please join me in thanking Mayor Berke and encouraging other elected officials to continue to expand such programs, which assist mothers and fathers in being the best parents they can be — putting more children on a path to a successful life.

Mary Lewis

Whiteside, Tenn.

Not a Paige turner; leave pets at home

I am not Baptist, but I don't think that Paige Patterson (president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) did anything wrong.

If you are going to a non-pet-friendly place, you should leave your pet at home, not in your hot car. Remember when you park your car, take your child with you! I never did forget mine.

Pat Ricketts


Integration needed for school children

As a community member and taxpayer in Hamilton County, I would like to express my opinion about the need for integration policy for school children in all districts. I participated in the APEX Committee project by providing feedback, taking classes to learn about local history in education, and also by engaging with other parents, educators and citizens from all walks of life to understand where we find common ground, in addition to hearing new and differing ideas.

Perspective and subject knowledge are necessary when it comes to working with others. It is incredibly disheartening to find two members of the school board care so little "about what the research says" and show their disconnect to the people at large. I would go so far as to say their inaction and public statements on the subject are deplorable. Inclusivity is absent because of elected officials who retort that others and their needs aren't valuable. It's a shame for them to be closed-minded.

It matters to me that my child, his peers, neighbors and friends he's yet to meet all receive an equitable opportunity for greatness. I will gladly pay for it.

Neisha Lisenbee

Address the real issues of inequity

I'm a member of UnifiEd's APEX Steering Committee. We are Hamilton County public school teachers, students, parents and grandparents. We come from across the county and share the belief that students should have equal opportunities to succeed no matter where they live or who their parents are. After six months of community engagement, we developed and distributed an action plan which makes the success of all students a priority for our community and our school board.

APEX is one of numerous organizations eager to provide the support needed to help Hamilton County students and schools succeed. That will not happen without the approval and involvement of the school board. I served on the school board from 1996 to 2000; although I represented District 2, I was responsible for the success of students across the county. I knew then and know now what's good for students living on Dayton Pike is good for students living on Alton Park Boulevard, that students and parents in Hixson have the same expectations as their counterparts in Brainerd. I encourage Ms. Thurman and Mr. Smith to drop the nonissue of forced busing and address the real issues of inequity in schools.

Annie Hall

Signal Mountain

Trump viewed only through distortions

Let's remember everything we see and hear about President Trump is filtered through either:

1. Media: A paragon of objectivity; organizations hysterically discrediting this president even when his initiatives, for example, put money in our pockets and bring North Korea to the diplomacy table. The latter eluded past presidents for 65 years, even Nobel Peace Prize recipients. Just imagine the height of the throne upon which the media would enshrine Obama had he accomplished just one of these?

2. Washington: Our country's talent pool; these clowns, who along with their predecessors, managed this country into $20 trillion of debt, presided over a precipitous decline in societal values, can't reach consensus over what dressing to put on their salads, and leave office many times more affluent than when elected. We value their opinions? How pathetic! Bernie Madoff has some financial advice for each of you. Do you think these jokers want their privileged lives to change? The more the inmates complain about the warden, the more I like the warden.

Perhaps we would be better served if we took our collective heads out of our apps just long enough to develop some legitimate intellectual curiosity.

Al Colonna

Signal Mountain

Trump critic has beam in his eye

Regarding the letter, "How can Christians back our president" (May 15): The majority probably support the president because he is the president. They could have voted for him because he was the only viable option other than minor parties with no chance of winning.

The other choice for voters should be thankful her pantsuits are not solid orange with a number stenciled on the back, that she does not receive her mail in Alderson, W.Va. (site of federal prison for women). She, and the writer of the referenced letter, should be grateful President Trump stated that he would not prosecute her.

The writer states that the president exhibits symptoms of narcissism. His predecessor was no shrinking violet at that.

Finally, as the writer has brought religion into his letter, let me remind him that Christ told us not to try removing a mote from your neighbor's eye while you have a beam in your own.

Horton Herrin

Dalton, Ga.

Following orders doesn't clear Haspel

I've tried to follow the hearings for Gina Haspel to be the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. One thing came to my mind during the discussions about her involvement in the torture of detainees after the horrible tragedy of 9/11 was that she said she essentially followed orders. Didn't we hang Nazis after World War II for following orders that were immoral?

When I was in the Army, we were drilled on the Geneva Conventions. Those who violated them, as with the My Lai massacre, were prosecuted. Has that changed? I hope not, but I fear so.

James M. Hemsley