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Posted: August 14, 2009 12:00 a.m.

Letter to the editor...Expensive to play

Dear Editor: Once again our school year has begun, and once again I question my (and my husband's) ability to pay for our children's various extracurricular activities. What classes do they take? Ballet? Art? No. Our children participate in various sporting activities at their school. I know I am getting up there in age, but when did it cost a fortune to play football? Play in the band? Cheerlead? At what point did it become necessary to keep up with the other schools? Purchase new uniforms yearly? Eat out before and after every meal?

I participated in flag core (we got new skirts one year with purchased fabric, a sewing machine, and a pattern), basket ball (same uniforms every year, but we did get new shoes which we purchased through car washes, and doughnut sales), and volleyball (we all wore matching tee shirts). Yes, we went out to eat after participating, but sometimes you just hung out and had a coke. We drank water during the games (big cooler full, not Evian bottles full), our sports banquet was pot luck, not catered.

I am writing this as a plea to the various coaches, sponsors, booster club presidents, etc.. Perhaps it has eluded you that much of the country, and indeed our state are in the middle of an economic crisis.

Perhaps you don't live here and therefore are unaware of the fact that Newton County has the highest unemployment rate in the state. Perhaps you believe it is a good idea not to instill the ideas of sportsmanship, and conservation (do we really need everything? all of the time?), and would rather instill in our children with the need to keep up with the Jones (after all, their school mascot drives a convertible, so lets get our a motorcycle)! Wonderful; I look forward to the future.

I will not hesitate to point out to my children the fallacy in these ideas. I will not be purchasing boxes of meat, 30 cases of Coca Cola, I will not be selling wrapping paper door to door at inflated prices. I will give what I can, I will try to bring occasional cases of Gatorade & snacks, I will by a couple cases of coke. But I will not tolerate that you require myself, or my children, to sell any amount of anything to participate in any county funded program.

We have had to revamp our budget in our home. I would suggest you do the same.


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