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Wonderful to experience first hand the pride at Pleasant St. School

To The Daily Sun,

Today my colleague, Joan Cormier and I attended a special Pleasant Street School Pride Week closing assembly. We went because we were told that we were going to be presented with a check to establish a scholarship with our organization under the name the Pleasant Street School Pride Award.

When we arrived, we were greeted by Mr. David Levesque, the principal of Pleasant Street School.

We were also introduced to representatives from the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Got Lunch program. Each of us was surprised to see all of the commotion going on as we entered the gym/cafeteria. The students were assembled and seated on the floor and after a few minutes, Mr. Levesque took the microphone and all was quiet. The principal proceed to tell everyone in attendance, students, teachers, staff, parents and grandparents about the reason for coming together. There was to be a talent show that afternoon to conclude the school's celebration of Pride Week, but before the talent show, there was to be a presentation ceremony.

One by one, each of the organizations mentioned above were introduced and a presentation was made. The first group was the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Mr. Levesque uncovered three or four very large draped containers. He told the SVdP president, Erika Johnson, that the students were asked to bring in toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash and canned goods and they had brought in so much more than he had ever expected. Mrs. Johnson told the children a little about St. Vincent's mission in Laconia and thanked them for being so generous and giving to others.

Next, Mr. Levesque introduced two representatives from the Got Lunch program. Again, containers were undraped revealing more than 600 jars of peanut butter and jelly which the students had brought to school to give to the Got Lunch program. The students were told about the Got Lunch program and how there jars would be used to feed so kids in Laconia. They thanked the students on behalf of the program and the children of Laconia who would go hungry without their help.

Our turn came next and we were presented a check to establish as scholarship called the Pleasant Street School Pride Award. The award is to be given to a graduating LHS student who had attended Pleasant Street School. The check was very generous, and money raised came through a year-long penny drive.

That's dedication. We explained who we were to the students, explained a little about what scholarships where and what they could mean to them and thanked them for their gift.

So many things impressed us that afternoon. First, there was the leadership of the principal of the school spearheading a program to teach the students about their community and ways to give back to the community and help others. To me, this is something that needs to be taught, it does not come naturally.

Next, there was the dedication and enthusiasm of the teachers and the paraprofessionals of the school. We know that a great idea can be brought forth, but unless you have the guidance, encouragement and enthusiasm of the staff behind the vision, it will not work.

The parents and families of the students are also to be commended. What a wonderful response of food, and toiletries coming from so many homes. Homes where giving and serving are being taught and modeled.

Then there were the students — so engaged, so well behaved and so happy to be involved in this project. Looking into the faces of some of the kids, you could see that they were proud of themselves. I guess the "Pride Award" was an appropriate name for the scholarship they chose.

Paulette Loughlin
Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation

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Perhaps an apology is in order from all those birthers & naysayers

To The Daily Sun,

"The candidate is a natural born citizen by virtue of being born in Canada to his mother, who was an American citizen at the time of his birth." So declared Pennsylvania Senior Judge Dan Pellegrini concerning the citizenship of one of this year's Republican presidential candidates. The judge also referred to an article in the Harvard Law Review to support his decision.

Rafael Theodore Cruz (for some reason, he dropped his birth name) was born in Calgary, Canada, to an American mother and a Cuban father. He had dual citizenship until May 2014, when he decided (for some reason) to renounce his Canadian citizenship. He graduated cum laude from Princeton University, and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

In 2013, he was elected to his first national office as a senator from Texas. Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to an American mother and an African father. According to "birthers," he apparently was not an American citizen. He graduated magna cum laude (better than cum laude, but naysayers clamored for his transcripts) from Columbia University, and was also editor of the Harvard Law Review.

In 2005, he was elected to his first national office as a senator from Illinois. According to those naysayers, he did not have adequate experience by 2008 for the presidency, although now Mr. Cruz does (?).

Side note: from 1847 until 1849, Abraham Lincoln served in the U.S. House, and then was out of national office until being elected president in 1860 (probably a lack of adequate experience, according to the naysayers). Apparently the judge's ruling that being born to an American mother is a qualification for U.S. citizenship, and should settle any doubts concerning president Obama's citizenship. Of course, racial biases were never a factor!

Perhaps an apology to President Obama is in order from all those birthers and naysayers.

Frank M. Weeks

Gilmanton Iron Works

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