Letter: Give Carbondale families a lift

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the trustees of the town of Carbondale.

Dear Editor:

I am writing to express my enthusiasm and support for converting the current library into a Family Enrichment Center that will nourish the families of Carbondale.

As a mother of two children and a teacher, I come into contact daily with parents who are looking for nurturing caregivers and environments for their children so they can work to support their families. Providing much-needed infant, toddler and after-school care in a home-like environment would be such a gift to working parents. These same parents are also hungry for some soul food — whether it be a place to sing, knit or gather together and share the challenges of parenting. The Family Enrichment Center could meet all of these needs.

The Family Enrichment Center would find a perfect home on Fourth Street in downtown Carbondale. Children could walk from school or the bus stop quickly and safely if they were enrolled in the after-school program. Moms and dads would find it a convenient location in which to pick up their little ones after a long day’s work.

Lastly, no one can deny the need for a practical arts curriculum that the Family Enrichment Center would give to children and parents alike. As more and more of us, children and adults, are disconnected from the natural world and one another as we work and play on screens, we must at the same time take up practical work with our hands to balance out the effects of this increased screen time. Baking bread, carving wooden bowls, planting seeds — as we find that we can actually bring about something of beauty with our hands, our hearts are somehow renewed and our spirits lifted.

It must be stated here that those who would most benefit from the Family Enrichment Center are least likely to advocate for it. These people are the parents of children who are so very busy raising them and, like myself, working several jobs to survive. So please treat every letter from a parent of children like I am as 50 letters! For every one of us parents who manages to write a letter to you after the kids have been put to bed, the toys put away and the laundry folded, there are at least 50 more who are doing the same but have fallen asleep from exhaustion and need more support.

Thank you for considering my point of view, and I wish you wisdom throughout this decision-making process.

Holly McSwain Richardson