Assessing One Family's StruggleI am writing regarding the...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 16, 1995

Assessing One Family's Struggle

I am writing regarding the article entitled, "One family's struggle to be together" written by Art Kramer, which was in The Sun on March 12.

It frustrates me when groups of people try to get in the way of someone such as Cynthia Morin, who is only trying to provide what those three children need most in life -- a stable adult who loves them and will provide for them and support and understand them. . . .

I see and know many families who have adopted children from other races, myself included, and these are loving and stable families -- both single-parent and two-parent families.

How can the relatives and groups such as the National Association of Black Social Workers fight Cynthia Morin when the biological mother of the three children which are in Ms. Morin's custody wrote in her will that she chose Ms. Morin to adopt her children? Do others think they know better than the biological mother? . . .

Renate Flannelly

Bel Air

Idle Kids

High above Times Square, a digital counter keeps pace with the ever-growing size of the national deficit -- a sobering reminder that neglect has its price.

There is another deficit, one faced each day by American children. It is marked by watches and kitchen clocks, composed of wasted hours without productive activity or creative thought. The consequences of this shortfall rival our fiscal woes.

Some 40 percent of waking hours for American kids are discretionary -- unorganized, unsupervised and, in too many cases, unproductive. Young people often spend this time without the benefit of a reliable adult's company or guidance.

These hours can be the focal point for critical adolescent choices about drugs and alcohol, sexual activity and gang involvement. . . .Many kids growing up in disadvantaged circumstances do ultimately make the wrong choices, having few viable options open to them. I am proud to report that in Harford County, many children now have a "viable option." It's called the Boys & Girls Club.

In December 1994, we opened our doors to our $1 million facility in East Aberdeen, which is now serving an average of 130 youths daily. Earlier in the year, we combined with the Edgewood Multi-Purpose Youth Center and opened it as our second unit. . . . Along with the county executive, we are working diligently toward the funding of a new club building in Edgewood. We are hoping to break ground in early 1996.

Boys & Girls Club of Harford County efforts are made possible through partnerships with concerned corporations, private foundations, government agencies and caring individuals. Their work with Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County -- and their recognition of the organization's ability to deliver -- is a major part of our success story. . . . Thanks also to the many generous contributors of time, talent and treasure who work diligently on our volunteer board. These devoted individuals exemplify "partnership" working closely with club professional staff to make sure our children have "the positive place" they need and deserve. However, more partners are needed to advance the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs. . . .

Jerome J. Lacey Jr.

Aberdeen

The writer is president of the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Club of Harford County.

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