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home : opinions : opinions November 19, 2018

4/10/2018 1:02:00 PM
Support programs that make Sisters a community
By Peggy Tehan and family; John, Audrey, Hattie and JC

My family and I would like to convey our strong support of both the Sisters School District and Sisters Park & Recreation District five-year operating levies on the upcoming May 15 election. For the community of Sisters, the saying "it takes a village" not only applies to the villagers but also to the public entities that serve the village.

I have served on the Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD) Board of Directors for the past 10 years.

During that time, SPRD has strengthened its core offering of youth programs and now includes a broad spectrum of adult programs. A room in SPRD's Coffield Center has recently been dedicated to daily adult use for scheduled programs, "drop-in" activities, and on Mondays, it's home to the senior services advocate.

SPRD initiated "Partner Committees" such as Farmers' Market, Lacrosse Club, Astronomy Club, Volleyball and Basketball Club, maximizing the use of SPRD's facilities and staff. SPRD also administers partners' special events such as basketball and lacrosse tournaments, bringing large numbers of out-of-town participants who contribute to Sisters' overall economy. Two other partner committees, under the guidance of SPRD, used volunteer hours, donated materials and matching grants to add significant community assets to the SPRD campus with construction of the Sisters Skate Park and soon-to-be completed Bike Park 242.

We have seen the same innovative thinking from the Sisters School District (SSD) with programs like Chinese language, Flight Science, IEE, the Luthier Program, Americana, Seed to Table, and Greenhouse Science. The school district has demonstrated an ability to balance a mandate on strong academics with a willingness to seek out and implement other creative learning experiences. Our three children attended Sisters schools K through 12; we see the lasting effects of their Sisters school experience every day...three confidant, independent and employed young adults who possess handmade guitars, a passion for experiencing and preserving our beautiful surroundings (our shop full of their kayaks, tents, raft, snowboards, skis and etc.), college degrees and a bountiful harvest from their garden.

SSD and SPRD have collaborated on many fronts to meet the needs of our community. SPRD's preschool operates in the elementary school building, addressing childcare needs, providing early childhood education and preparing them for kindergarten - that classroom of kids just down the hall. School gyms and fields are scheduled to meet the needs of SPRD after-school sports activities, as well as weekend tournaments. After school, elementary students are bussed to SPRD for the homework club and enrichment activity programs. SPRD runs the middle school sports programs of football, volleyball, wrestling, basketball and track. This sharing of assets, "can-do" attitude, and combined vision of service is to be commended.

Sisters School District and Sisters Park & Recreation District are essential elements of what makes our community unique - and the place we want to live. On May 15, we can acknowledge their commitment to serve the education and recreation needs of Sisters Country. Please join us in voting "Yes" for Measure 9-120, Sisters Park & Recreation District's Five-Year Local Option Levy and "Yes" for Measure 9-121, Sisters School District's Five-Year Local Option


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