I'm asking everyone in Washington County to support the Washington County Children Services levy. As a teacher in the Marietta City School District for 32 years, I have witnessed the immense need for the School Outreach Prevention Program (SOPP). In 1980, Washington School had one half time Title I teacher. Title I is based on the number of free and reduced lunches (income is below the poverty level). Today, three of the four elementary schools in Marietta are Title I Schools. More than 50 percent of the students receive free or reduced lunch. There are three or more Title I teachers at these schools. Poverty certainly does not mean bad families. Poverty means that families are struggling and under a great deal of stress. Stress is a powder keg.
With SOPP between the years of 1995 and 2008 over 22,450 children in all Washington County schools (Marietta, Waterford, Fort Frye, Belpre, Frontier, Warren, Wolfe Creek) from K-8th grade were provided prevention services of some kind. At it's peak, the SOPP had 11 full-time prevention specialists with a supervisor and support staff. The CSB Annual Report details the services provided and programs offered within the Prevention Unit - some included RSVP (Responsible Social Values Program, an abstinence program from drugs, alcohol and premarital intercourse), CATS (teen sexuality education prevention) Child Lures, (preventing child abduction and sexual abuse) and then the direct family intervention services, academic tutoring, and truancy intervention, and social skill development groups such as GirlPower etc.
Let's diffuse the powder keg before it becomes a crisis by voting "yes" for Washington County children and stop neglect or abuse before it starts. Let's give our children a chance by bringing back these valuable services.
Caroline Fouss, third grade
Washington Elementary School