SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Southeast CHAMPS scrounging for money
By Charles Edwardson


March 09, 2009

I have written about the activities' fund in this publication more than a few times and as predicted I did not actively do anything about it, or think about it much until the time came when my kid needed support for her extracurricular activity. Guilty as charged and so is the school board. So I reached into my wallet and slapped down another thousand bucks as do many parents and faithful fans.

I know the reasons that are (over) justified by budget restraints but I think our kids deserve better than what we are offering them here in Ketchikan.

I, with many of you in Ketchikan, watched a very dedicated group of basketball girls play the game of their lives this past week and win against all odds against a bigger school, bigger kids, and a bigger budget. The starting five, as we call them in our little sphere of the girls basket ball universe, have worked for this since they were eight and nine years old. They were expected to win. They pushed themselves in the off-season for years and they prevailed.

And after the game of their lives, and to the great relief to the parents of the five and many Ketchikan Faithful fans,the girls basketball team with no visible advantage, other than heart and hustle, had to hustle down to the concession stand and serve hot dogs to their fans to try to hustle some more to raise money to get to state. And after coming back the next night and somehow finding more heart and more hustle after such an emotional night -- and after cleaning the concession stands -- they won the 3a 4a cross over tournament, and again had to hustle to shower up and start hitting the bleachers humbling themselves to ask the very generous citizens of Ketchikan for yet more money. How much more can we ask of our kids and the citizens of this town. I was embarrassed for my kid and her teammates and for KETCHIKAN and somewhat disappointed in myself for not trying to do more in regards to this issue, My daughter and her teammates scrounging for money for state after winning Southeast for us all just hit me as wrong in every sense of the word.

Kids in all activities have to constantly fund-raise to represent this town. It is to the point of being embarrassing for some of them. There has to be a way our district can fund activities to the extent that is deserved by our kids. Not just athletics are affected. Pep band, cheer squad, dance team, pep club, and the student body as a whole would benefit with a bigger budget for activities. You would absolutely, without a doubt, positively, without question, unequivocally help address the dropout rate with a stronger activities fund.

Small communities are built and maintained by letterman (students who receive a letter representing their school). Athletic and extracurricular and other activities not related to academics receive this recognition to be able to say I represented my school and community, in addition to passing grades, attendance, and the desire to stay in school to do these activities. This is reason enough to take another look at how we treat our kids here in Ketchikan in regards to the activities fund.

I know we all dig in our wallets and Ketchikan always pulls through for the kids when the chips are down, but why do we not put a bigger emphasis on the activities fund? I wonder how many on the school board took in the Southeast tournament to witness the diverse student body that attended.

I graduated but not with honors and in large part only to go to shop class and hopefully come out of Kayhi with at least a letter for one year which i did. So I know first hand what I'm talking about.

Charles Edwardson
Ketchikan, AK

Received March 08, 2009 - Published March 09, 2009



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