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Article Published April 13, 2016

Critical to Learning

By Eileen Smith

Pay to play sports in Clinton? How can this be an option under consideration in order to pass an education budget? Last I checked, the countless benefits of a sports program to our young people are critical to learning. My three children have participated in numerous sports in Clinton from when they were very young, beginning with Park & Rec, and straight through to The Morgan School teams.

Benefits—where do I begin? Maybe with health, both physical and mental, and then I would move on to the dedication, perseverance, and rigor and excellence it teaches. Sports limit the amount of free time and boredom and helps the chances our Clinton kids have to stay out of trouble and resist drugs or alcohol. I would talk about learning to work as a team, of mentoring, of leadership. I would argue that playing sports is often the one connection some student/athletes have to feeling pride, self-worth, and accomplished. They call that self-esteem, and as adults we know the value of that.

There are many of us in Clinton who could afford to “pay to play,” but what about the many families that cannot afford this? Do those children just get left out? I absolutely say no—they do not. Let’s all give thought to what we want our children’s education to include. Think about what we are willing to sacrifice in the name of a zero increase, and think about who we have representing us on our boards and what they are proposing as solutions and at whose expense. I encourage your readers to join me in voting “Yes” on May 11 so that these illogical cuts don’t become a reality.

Eileen Smith
Clinton