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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Making a difference in your community

Recently, my husband made a comment to me about how I seem to be able to get things done at our daughter’s school and in the community that most people wouldn’t know they could do. I thought about what he said and decided that maybe I could give some of you a little inspiration to make a difference in your child’s school and in the community.

City of Seminole Citizens Academy

It’s all too often we see things and complain, but don’t take action to try and do something about it.
Like most of you, I am your every day citizen. I try to be active in my kid’s school and in the community. I volunteer at the school and am on the PTA.  I am also  involved in the chamber of commerce for my work and recently have taken part in the city’s citizen academy.  I want our schools and community to be a great place to live, work and play for me and my family.

My instinct is when I see something that I think can be improved or needs to be fixed, I call whoever is in charge and try to get something done. Maybe it’s the reporter in me or that I worked for city government and know basically how things work. I know usually, I can at least get a response.

I’ll give you a few examples. When I moved to my house several years ago, there weren’t sidewalks on one of the main roads that I would take my kids for a wagon ride. It was very dangerous because part of the road had sidewalks and part of it didn’t. I decided to take some pictures and write our city officials about why I thought there needed to be sidewalks. The city looked at what I showed them and said they had money in their sidewalk improvement fund and put in the sidewalks. I was delighted.

Recently there was a lot of rain the fields where my daughter’s play their softball games and they were covered with mosquitoes. After playing two games and having the kids eaten by mosquitoes, I looked up mosquito control and emailed them about the problem. The officials emailed me back and had the fields sprayed within a day. Thank you mosquito control!

Another example is the school my girls go to. Like most schools in Pinellas County there are lots of portables that are used as classrooms. Last year, my daughter who was in third grade at the time lost almost a month of learning because of being in a portable. When it rains, the kids are doubled up with classes in the regular buildings. When this happens, teachers can’t teach and the children aren’t learning. A big problem especially when your school goes down a letter grade because of lower test scores. I was able to bring this to the attention of our school superintendent at an education forum and now school officials are looking into this.

I think sometimes we just need to take action and find out who we need to ask, so we can get things done. A lot of times people don’t know there’s a problem, unless we bring it to their attention.

Don’t be afraid to call your city, county and school officials to help you. I am not saying that every time I try and do something, it gets done. There are times when things don’t get done. To me it’s important to at least try, so you can feel at least you’ve done your part. 

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