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02/01/2023 08:00 AM

Build a Better Town

Nothing in life is free. Of course, children need learning opportunities. If Mayor Joseph Carfora and Superintendent Erica Forti can accept an airport partnership in the East Haven Public Schools system, they can accept environmental careers and engineering to make a less air-polluted world. Joseph Melillo Middle School is under a flight path polluting children and our drinking water in Lake Saltonstall. We cannot ignore the obvious. This has greater health, social, and environmental costs.

We lack a robust environmental curriculum in the school system with learning opportunities that include natural resources in our backyard. Since 2015, I have encouraged local administrators to apply for foundation, corporate, and state grants. There was success at Momauguin School. We have missed out on music, art education, mentoring opportunities, and science enhancements because administrators didn't apply. Our school district continues to underperform, with 20 percent of students not graduating from high school every year.

East Haven is defined as an Environmental Justice town by the Connecticut Department of Energy and the Environment. This means that we lack health, jobs, and access to educational opportunities that are present in the rest of the 169 towns. This year, our standing went from 25 to 17, worse than last year.

Officials need to work with parents and organizations to bridge the gaps that exist in learning opportunities. Accepting air pollution over a school building is not healthy. Accepting air pollution over our drinking water reservoir is not environmentally conscious. Install air quality and noise meters at every school location. Make sure that the school nurses report asthma in our schools to the state public health agency. Build partnerships with the multitude of climate change organizations in the county by teaching children how they make a difference to build a better town.

Lorena Venegas

East Haven