Why Must the Children Suffer?
by Kenneth Butricks ◊ Oct 07, 2011
The Hamden Board of Education will hold their monthly meeting on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, at 60 Putnam Avenue in Hamden. During the meeting, a discussion will take place to decide the viability of closing all Hamden Public Schools at 5:30pm during the school week and all day Saturdays and Sundays. Advocates point to the possible cost savings of closing the schools, even though such measures would “shut down” many youth programs in the town. The Hamden Fathers Basketball Association (HFBA) was founded in 1955 in association with the Hamden Department of Parks and Recreation. HFBA teaches the game of basketball to over 500 boys and girls annually between the ages of five and seventeen, while promoting recreation and fun for the entire family. Each child has one practice and one game each week in the schools the Board of Education is contemplating closing.
Community sports provide so much more to children than just exercise. Sports help develop valuable life skills, such as social interaction, healthy competition, team spirit, and the ability to handle both success and failure, to name just a few. Granted, all municipalities are struggling to meet stringent budgetary mandates. But, why must the children suffer? The answer is clear. They shouldn’t. It’s an old, but true, adage that the children are our future leaders. Likewise, stripping them of the ability to play indoor sports is counterproductive and will only lead to more idle time for the adolescence in Hamden. Sports are an outlet for all kids. Participation in sports and other youth activities helps keep kids focused and away from drugs, violence, and other temptations they face each and every day. The Hamden Fathers Basketball Association offers positive role models for today’s youth. The HFBA has several volunteers, some associated with the organization for well over thirty years. The kids are the beneficiaries. The volunteers of this association serve with compassion and interest for the kids of Hamden, not for acclaim or recognition. I have confidence that the Board of Education shares the same commitment to the children of Hamden as the Hamden Fathers Basketball Association and the citizens of Hamden do. Make no mistake, if the Board of Education approves the early closing of the schools, community sports for the fall and winter will cease to exist. Why should the children suffer? The answer is clear. They cannot. To voice opposition to this discussion and possible proposal, please contact the Hamden Board of Education and your district’s elected officials.
Hamden Fathers Basketball Association Executive Board Member