Monday, January 15, 2018

Seventy Years Later...

It's hard to believe that the civil rights movement, led by Dr. King, began roughly 70 years ago. I say this because we seem to be still striving for the same things that he once advocated for. In fact, in some regards, we may have regressed as a society in recent years. The concept of equal rights has been around for centuries and in today's era is most commonly referred to a social justice. While rights are something that are bestowed upon an individual, that doesn't simply mean that all things are equal. Social justice is the concept by which the equality of rights are being exercised consistently across all groups of people. While rights can be equal on paper, our society still does not unilaterally view people as equal. It's up to society, made up of human beings from all walks of life, to ensure that all humans are considered valuable. It shouldn't take catastrophic events for communities to come together and support each other, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, etc. Last week, one of the world's all time great football coaches, Nick Saban, won his sixth college football national championship. His philosophy is simple and is also the reason he struggled in the professional ranks. As an NFL head coach, he once said in a press conference, "I don't care about winning and losing, I care about doing things right." If you take a step back and think about those words, it's a simple concept. If everyone in a society or organization simply did what was right and expected of them all of the time; the society or organization would be wildly successful. Hence, Alabama football. In 2018, the message is the same as it was seventy years ago as Dr. Martin Luther King attempted to get us all to understand. More importantly, the message is simple. JUST DO WHAT'S RIGHT. If every one of us were to value life, humans, and society... we would finally have turned the corner down the correct path of social justice... just seventy years later.

Lost and Found

As I walk through our elementary schools, the piles and piles of clothes, jackets, shoes, hats, gloves, etc. are growing exponentially. This is the time of year where everyone's lost and found tables/piles seem to become uncontrollable. Each year, schools end up with bags full of clothing that is left behind throughout the year. Please take time to review your child's belongings each day and if you notice that they did not come home with something that they went to school with, please contact the school and have the student check the lost and found. With amount of changing and layers that kids come to school with in the winter, it's understandable that little ones often forget something. Another tactic would be to use a permanent marker to write your child's name inside all clothing items, so that if something does get lost, we can return it without having to wonder who it belongs to. Winter clothing is important, but also can be costly; we want to help to make sure that our families and students are not losing much needed items and/or spending additional money on items if we can locate them.

Thank You Key Bank/YMCA

Thank you to Key Bank, who has donated $15,000 to fund the Strategic Teen Enrichment Program (STEP) for Rome City School District 7th and 8th graders at the YMCA of Rome. The grant will also be used to bring outside agencies to the YMCA to present specific subject matters that will help the students with important things they will encounter as they get older. Some programs will include: Job readiness, money matters, addiction, relationships, real estate, whether it’s a house or shopping for an apartment, and careers and college readiness discussed by instructors from MVCC. The STEP program is a successful and established partnership with the YMCA for RFA students, and we are beyond excited to be able to offer the same experience for our middle school students. Thank you!!

Evening of Arts

Our annual Celebrate the Arts event will take place on Friday, January 26, in the large cafeteria at Rome Free Academy. The art gallery, with work created by our art faculty, and appetizers will take place from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Following that, a concert featuring the talents of our music faculty will occur from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. There is no admission fee for this event, however donations are welcome and will go toward funding a scholarship for one Rome music student and one Rome art student who plane to continue their education in the field. The more money raised, the more that goes to the students! The Rome City School District is the only local district who does an event featuring their faculty like this! Please join us for this unique event and SPREAD THE WORD!

Community Concert Opportunity

The Clinton Symphony Orchestra of the Mohawk Valley will be hosting a concert on Sunday, January 21, 2018. They will be featuring guest artist David Kim, who will make their Steinway piano come alive while performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20. Also on the program will be Tchaikowsky's Symphony No. 6. There will be a special pre-concert program scheduled for 1:30 p.m. with the concert beginning at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and a grant has been secured by the organization to allow students to attend as guests. Enjoy an afternoon of music at their amazing theatre! The concert will be performed at the Clinton Central School Performing Arts Complex and for questions, please call 315-404-2016.