Help Teach A Child To Read

Learning How to Read Begins in Children's Ears 
Most people think children learn how to read through their eyes. But reading is actually learned through the ears. Parents lay a foundation for success in reading by talking to a child, reading books to her, and playing auditory games such as rhyming. The more books you read, the bigger his vocabulary becomes. A bigger vocabulary allows her to recognize lots of words while she reads. If you've read books to him about cheetahs and warthogs, it's more likely he can read those words when his teacher gives a homework assignment about the Serengeti Plains.

Learning to Read, Reading to Learn
A child will normally learn how to read through the following sequence:
  • From birth to age three, children listen to lots of words spoken and learn how to talk.
  • Children, aged three to four years old have growing vocabularies, and they learn how to rhyme.
  • In first grade children are taught how to blend letter sounds together to "sound out" words and memorize sight words. They begin reading simple sentences.
  • Second and third graders learn how to read "chapter" books and read fluently with comprehension.
For children who are being raised in homes where English is a secondary or non-existent language, these individuals can find themselves lacking some important auditory tools:
  • Can't rhyme due to minimal vocabulary 
  • Don't know the short vowel sounds - caused by an inability to hear differences in short vowel sounds. (Short vowels: a-apple, e-elephant, i-igloo, o-octopus, u-umbrella)
  • Can't put word parts together to make words - a skill used in sounding out new words.
  • Slow recall of letter sounds, sees the letter w but can't remember what it says.
Absence of these critical auditory skills increase the difficulty in learning to read which in turn compounds the overall learning challenges. A team of local volunteers has formed a tutorial group whose goal is to help overcome these learning difficulties by bridging the language gap created by the absence of English in the home place.
Volunteers gather at Fellowship Bible Church each Wednesday from 5:30 until 7 PM throughout the school year to read to children or listen to the child read and offer coaching over the rough spots.  Additional volunteers tutor students on various school subjects to help them accelerate and succeed in their classes.

As you can imagine, demand for this assistance in our community is at least twice as great as there are volunteers to support them.  If you are interested becoming a volunteer tutor or know others who would be, please share the FLYER with them and ask them to join in each Wednesday evening – you’ll be surprised by the gratitude you’ll receive from appreciative individuals learning from you!      

Stockings For Our Soldiers

Members of The Senior Program at the SeaTac Community Center are collecting donated items to be placed into hand sewn stockings and shipped to our brave young men and women in uniform serving their Country half-way around the world. The drive will run through November 8.  All items collected at the SeaTac Community Center will be brought to Operation Support Our Troops Northwest for packing and shipping.  

When choosing items to donate, please consider many smaller items to be better than a few large items. For example, a package of ten snack-sized bags of chips is better than a single family size bag of chips. This way, the items can be distributed to more soldiers. A list of recommended items needed include cocoa and cider packets, 6 inch candy canes, packaged cookies, microwave popcorn, gum, breath mints, peanuts and lip balm however, our troops are thankful for anything we send. Additionally, cash donations are always needed to help offset the shipping costs. For further information, call 973.4690

Alternate Routes Required

Typical peak periods of construction and road closures occur during summer months, however a few projects taking place this fall will have an impact on local commuter's travel plans:

Southbound I-5 Onramp at 200th Street 
Detours will be in place during temporary construction forcing closure of the I-5 southbound ramp at South 200th Street / Military Road South for I-5 concrete pavement rehabilitation. Closure will be weather dependant requiring a maximum of 5 single nights between October 10 – November 18, 2011.  Mon-Fri closures will be scheduled from 8PM to 5AM & Sat-Sun 8PM to 10AM.. Detour will be on Military Road South, North to South 188th Street and the Southbound ramp to I-5.

Additional Major Construction Detours in place within the Region:

154th Street between 24th and 32nd Ave South
The City of Seatac recently announced that full road closure of South 154th St between 32nd Ave S and 24th Ave S will continue to remain in effect until December 31st.  During this time only emergency vehicles and local traffic will be allowed to use a portion of South 154th St.  Please refer to the detour map for alternative routes while traveling in this area.

SR 99 - Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement
A nine-day closure of the State Route 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct will mark the beginning of the end for Seattle’s double-deck highway.  At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will close the majority of the viaduct until 5 a.m., Monday, Oct. 31. 

During the closure, crews will demolish large sections of the southern mile of the viaduct, and complete temporary connections to a new SR 99 bridge now under construction on the west side of the viaduct in SODO. When 99 reopens on Halloween, a “construction bypass” will be in place.  WSDOT has just released this video to provide an example of what this will look like for commuters passing through this area:

November Election: Proposition 1

After several earlier efforts at incorporation were attempted, a mail-in vote for incorporation of the City of SeaTac on March 14, 1989 passed by 52.4 percent. It created a council-manager form of government with a largely ceremonial mayor chosen from the city council. The newly created city’s first mayor, retired pilot Frank Hansen, was fond of explaining that there were two factions on the first council and that he was chosen because he was an outsider to both.

It seems that history of turmoil and bickering continues today as some form of dissenting opinions are still thriving and generating controversy with allegations of election fraud, mishandling of funds, and the attempted use of eminent domain to take private property for economic development. Justification for a team consisting of citizens and council members to undergo a fourth time attempt to overturn the city’s current council-manager form of government in favor of a strong mayor-council arrangement.

Weighing The Claims
We hope the following information will help you to cast an informed decision on Proposition 1 in November.

Arguments For the Mayor-Council Form
  • This is the form of government that is familiar to most Americans because it is patterned after our traditional national and state governments  (***). There is a separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. There is a claim of checks and balances.
  • Also separation of powers provides healthy independence, debate and creative tension. Separate legislative and executive branches provide the best opportunity for debate and consensus building.
  • By electing, rather than appointing a mayor, political leadership is established. The city has a political spokesperson who has a high degree of visibility.
  • Some argue that an elected mayor will have a higher standing and greater voice in regional affairs of the city.
  • In most cities the mayor is vested with the veto power, and can serve as a check on an unpopular council decision.
  • A professional administrator can be hired to assist the mayor in the management of the city's operations thereby freeing the mayor to concentrate on political leadership or to offset weaknesses in the mayor's management background or experience, but the mayor is still ultimately responsible. 

Arguments Against the Mayor-Council Form
  • The office of the mayor gives too much power and authority to one person. It permits an incumbent to make decisions based largely on political considerations, and to use the office to further personal political objectives.
  • The qualities needed to win an election are not the same qualities needed to manage a modern city. A mayor while politically astute may not always possess the necessary management training and experience.
  • If an elected mayor proves to be incompetent or worse, he/she cannot be removed until the end of their term, or through an expensive and divisive recall election process.
  • A separately elected mayor may resist requests from the council. The mayor may attempt to isolate the council by controlling staff, information, and reports; "turf wars".

Additional Resources:
  • A quick comparison snapshot between the two forms of city government is available on the MRSC web site.
  • Voters Pamphlets containing For; Against; and Rebutted statements

(***) Editor's comments: The claim is that the Mayor-Council form of government is the most familiar form  to most American's - follow this link for some surprising City Government statistics.