Each of us should help youths read


What can we do as a community to improve the ability of our students in first, second, and third grades to master the art of reading (“Whose guarantee?” editorial, Dec. 19)?

State and federal governments have demanded improvement but have not provided the resources. That must not stop us locally from doing what we can to help students learn to read.

Toledo Public Schools has a new superintendent, Romules Durant. He will have an opportunity to put in place a long-range plan to improve the overall quality of TPS. But for the sake of our first through third graders, that may be too late.

Let’s stop pointing at others and each ask the question: What can I do?


Springfield Township


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Expand ways to mentor students

In response to The Blade’s Dec. 10 article “TPS to scrutinize community partners; Program effectiveness to be evaluated”: In several areas, our community has fostered redundant organizations for services that could be more efficiently provided by joining existing providers. Partners in Education has proven successful as a site-based tutoring/​mentoring model.

When an organization comes along that provides added value by enlarging the scope and reach of services, it should be encouraged. A prime example is Mountain Mentors, which provides tutoring of at-risk students throughout the year.

It adds the highly successful service of mentoring students in a wilderness environment during the summer. I have been involved with one of the group’s fund-raisers.

It would be helpful if some appropriate entity in the community could undertake a process similar to that of TPS, in other areas where duplication may be a disservice to those who need community-based social services.


Sylvania Township


Drive to reach students lauded

Kudos to Superintendent Durant for making high-quality early childhood programs one of his priorities (“Law imperils TPS 3rd graders,” Dec. 18). Through a collaboration with Head Start and strong leadership, the outcome for children entering TPS will be one of success.




Portman’s record on trade is poor

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s stand on trade deals is disheartening to those of us who have seen what faulty, one-sided trade agreements have done to this area (“Portman optimistic trade measure can pass; Senator calls budget deal step in right direction,” Dec. 22).

Senator Portman was instrumental in implementing trade agreements during the disastrous years of President George W. Bush. During Mr. Portman’s stewardship, we lost factories and manufacturing jobs. Now he wants another secret, fast-track free trade agreement.

Under Senator Portman’s steady corporate hand, more of us will be working at minimum wage. He will then continue to complain about the rise of entitlement spending.


Ottawa Lake, Mich.