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Please visit our Gilford PTA's Online Scholarship Fund Drive

To The Daily Sun,

Dwindling interest, lack of parent involvement, insufficient resources. Is this the way we want to describe our community and schools? Of course not! Yet, without your help, Gilford PTA faces these very struggles.

Did you know that we used to hand out nearly$7,500 in scholarships? That number has dwindled, because of a lack of funds, to often less than $2,000 annually. Did you know that our enrollment used to number well over 100 members, and now we are down to 40-70 members annually? Did you also know that a few years back we almost had to shut down the PTA for lack of interest and resources?

The good news is that this PTA can and will be revived with your help! And it only takes two steps:

First, if you are not a member of the Gilford District PTA yet, join us! It only costs $10 but those membership dollars are imperative to our programming. Dues support our scholarships for graduating seniors, summer camp opportunities for young children, the National Reflection Program, the district-wide spring poetry contest, the One School, One Book Event, supplemental technology equipment, literature for classrooms, and more! The organization, quite simply, can't work without members.

Second, please visit our Online Scholarship Fund Drive which runs from April 10 through April 15 at www.BiddingOwl.com/GilfordDistrictPTA. We have worked extremely hard to make this fundraiser accessible for all. Your generosity will help us provide much deserved support to the students in our community. The funds from this auction will help us fulfill the requests of 60-80 students looking to attend the school's summer program and to help our graduating seniors get that much closer to achieving their dreams. There are gifts and goodies for all tastes and budgets. Your generous contribution will go directly towards students in our community.

Involved, generous, inclusive. That is how we want our school and community to be described. Your contribution and involvement can get us there!

Virginia Johnson, Chair
Gilford District PTA Fundraiser

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We can see that path forward for Alton schools must be different

To The Daily Sun,

An open letter to Alton School Board members:

I am appealing to you to set aside personal differences and come together to tackle the job for which we were elected. Please join me in supporting Peter Leavitt as the next chair of the board.

The reputation, working climate and future of ACS have been worsening at a rapid pace and now is the time to address these challenges. The New Hampshire School Boards Association states that, no one member, whether chair, vice chair, elected or appointed, has any more power or control than another member. Because of this, there should be no concern in electing Peter as chair.

Naturally some of you reading this are thinking, "If that's true, then why not simply support Mr. Miller as chair and move on?" Let's refer back to the reputation, working climate and future of ACS. While I am not implying that the current state of the school is the fault of Mr. Miller, what I am suggesting is that based on past experience, we can see that the path to the future must be different. We have community members, parents and staff who are frustrated and unhappy.

As Einstein once said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." If Dr. Ward's statement that test scores have been flat for 10 years is true (I have not yet seen data to substantiate this) and if morale is deteriorating within the building, this will impact the quality of the education provided and the future of our children. Now is the time to try something new. Now is the time for a new approach for the Alton School Board.

Yes, there is much for new members to learn. To do this we must get back to holding meetings. We do not need all five members of the board present to hold a meeting. We need a quorum — three-fifths majority.

We are also not required to have the superintendent present to hold a meeting. We have an obligation to the School District and the taxpayers of Alton to hold regular public meetings and work on the business they have entrusted us to do. We must host these meetings at a time that is convenient for the public to attend.

People are still awaiting thorough responses from the February board meeting. A petition from community members to hold a March meeting was dismissed. Is two months an acceptable time frame to wait for answers to questions posed by the very people whose tax dollars pay our salaries? Should priorities of the school be held hostage? I don't think so.

Therefore, I am appealing to my fellow board members to come back to the table, support Peter Leavitt as chair, and let's get down to making this school what we know it can be.

I'm asking you to be part of something bigger than yourselves. I'm asking you to be part of a positive future. I'll be awaiting confirmation of the next scheduled meeting.

Michael Ball, Member

Alton School Board

Alton Bay

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