My wife is pastor of two local churches. Both of the churches have had, in the past years, the joy and privilege of working with Ms. Dunbar and her staff and the great kids at South Warren Elementary School. The churches have sponsored pizza days for the class with the highest attendance for that month, which encouraged the students to continue to show up for school. Oh, to see the faces of those children in their eagerness to be number one and get the pizza each month! The churches have also sponsored drives to collect and donate school supplies and often help to hand them out to the students.

We have been in the school often for various reasons. We watch the students and see how well behaved and respectful they are. One day, we were in there waiting for Ms. Dunbar when a cute little boy just wandered by. He had that little look of mischief in his eye, like he wasn’t where he was supposed to be. One of the ladies from the office came out, saw him, and asked him where he was supposed to be. It wasn’t where he was. The lady told him to go where he belonged. Mr. Cute Mischief respectfully replied, “Yes, ma’am,” and went off running to where he was supposed to be. That is just one memory of ours of these great kids. The churches, along with many other people and organizations, have painted, cleaned up, donated and helped out in many other ways for these fantastic children.

Unfortunately, in our society today, it seems to me to be more about the money and not about the people anymore. Whatever happened to “We the people” in this country, from Warren County to Raleigh to Washington, D.C.? If we let the financial statements overrule the educational needs of our children and determine their futures and what is best for them, then our society is doomed, and we will not leave a better world for this upcoming generation. That is so very sad to us.

My wife and I strongly believe that South Warren School is a ray of light in a struggling area. Does that indeed have a price tag that administration folks and politicians place on it and are unable to find the funds? I would be proud to have my children or grandchildren attend South Warren Elementary School.

To quote the words of John Greenleaf Whittier:

“For of all sad words of tongue or pen,

The saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’

“Maud Muller,” John Greenlief Whittier, 1807-1892