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Project Community Pride social worker Michael Shugrue, director Brigitte Kelly, and program specialist Lara Shaljian at Project Community Pride's annual awards breakfast. Credit: Jake Remaly
chathamette September 1, 2013 at 04:18 pm
Interesting. To the extent this is a survey designed to gauge the priorities of the communities, itRead More might be more effective if it allowed respondents to rank the options, rather than just check the top 5 out of 8. Especially when at least 4 of the 8 are arguably within the scope of this organization's mission. Greater clarity in the options would also help. I am not entirely sure what you mean by "provide for a healthy, clean and safe community," for example. Or how that might compare with "keeping children safe at home, in school and in the community." But that is really just an issue with two questions. The other support-gauging questions are variations on "do you think we should be doing this really important thing" with strongly implied "right" answers. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, unless you hope to use the results to argue that the community would support continued or increased funding for the organization.
Ron Swanson September 3, 2013 at 09:31 am
The survey was designed to draw forth the responses that Community Pride wants - let's be honest. IRead More mean who is going to say "keeping children safe at home, in school, and in the community" is not a priority? It's like asking someone if they like puppy dogs and rainbows. The survey shamelessly exploits the Newtown, CT tragedy in an effort to garner donations and increased funding. Just the way the Chatham School District played on citizen's fears by scaring voters into approving a permanent tax increase to add 5 double-dipping retired cops to the payroll, to do what exactly no one is sure.
JJ Tacey September 4, 2013 at 04:05 pm
I'm wondering how many of the people who responded here currently have children in the schoolRead More districts. Especially those of you who choose to comment anonymously. My family has three children enrolled in local public schools, and I know for a fact that some very serious situations have been averted thanks to the efforts of Project Community Pride and the local police force. I also know of teenagers and families who have benefitted from counseling services at Project Pride who otherwise would have been unable to afford therapeutic care. Believe it or not, not every resident of Madison, Chatham or Florham Park has five- or six-figure incomes. Without an agency like this, who knows what would have happened to those families? Not to mention the fact that it is my understanding that in certain cases Project Community Pride counselors were able to intervene before the respective children's parents were aware of the situation. Personally, I found the survey questions perfectly adequate, asking people to rank what are considered some of the most pressing issues facing communities like ours today. Granted, there could have been a numbering system to enable survey takers to indicate a specific order of preference, but as I recall there was an area where you could add your own comments after each question. And indeed, what ARE the most pressing issues in communities like Madison, Chatham and Florham Park? Ask anyone - without any prompting for responses - and I'm sure their answers would all fall within the spectrum of what was covered in this survey: good schools; safe and clean communities; appropriate care for the less fortunate; safe schools. Face it, our good schools are what make these communities so desirable, so in some way, shape or form most of the value of our community boils down to the opportunities and care we provide for our children. I suppose one could query what constitutes a "safe school," and I would argue that it isn't just the number of security guards on campus. The student body should have access to adequate and appropriate mental health services. Given what I know about some incidents in my children's schools last year, I, for one, was not offended by the reference to Newtown, CT. If you don't have children in school, or are fortunate enough to have avoided exposure to any of the mental health issues that commonly rear their ugly heads in schools today, then you might find this survey insufficient. However, it strikes me that any parent who isn't aware of at least some degree of the troubles our children are facing today must be living with his or her head in the sand. I'm no fan of fear mongering, but as responsible community members and parents we need to take a stand on behalf of our children and do our best to help prevent what trouble we can. And by trouble, I'm not necessarily referring to a school-wide massacre a la Newtown, CT, but even to common issues such as teen depression, suicide and bullying. Your average high school guidance department isn't equipped to deal with many of the cases that come through their doors. I hope many more residents take the survey and take a closer look at what Project Community Pride can contribute to our communities and our schools.
chatham7 July 24, 2012 at 09:59 pm
Congratulations Sophie and thanks for taking on such a proect during your summer break! You andRead More your family should be very proud of what you are doing!!
Kathy Abbott July 28, 2012 at 01:04 pm
I want to clarify that it was a passing comment I made that caused confusion. The habitat at SBS hasRead More been tended since 2005 by PTO parents and mugwort and other invasive plant species are a huge problem. When we saw it in late June, it was worse than at other times and I said that when asked. But I meant no offense to last year's PTO Committee. PTO volunteers can't possibly weed it all out. Sophie's group is making a small dent in the weeding and is working to make the habitat usable for Monarch Butterfly study in September, when the Monarch's are active and before they leave for Mexico. That is really terrific! It is also terrific that National Honor Society volunteers are helping her. The new PTO Gardening Committee for SBS for next school year, which now includes me, hopes to recruit more teenage crews from National Honor Society and Key Club to help with this labor intensive job.
Melissa Cavallone July 28, 2012 at 02:19 pm
Thanks, Kathy, for the clarification.
Patrick O'Neill July 13, 2012 at 02:36 pm
The delivery was made on July 3, 2012, not June 3, 2012.
Leonard Resto July 13, 2012 at 11:59 pm
It is wonderful to see young men like Tim and Brendan recognized for their outstanding contributionRead More to our communities. They are role models for us all.
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