How can we make lemonade out of this lemon of an economy? With so many people unemployed or underemployed, can we use that priceless "free" time by increasing volunteerism to help our community? Those volunteers can partially fill in for the equipment and positions that have been lost. There are certainly many, many areas on the Peninsula that could use the public's help - our parks and schools, to name just two.

I volunteer two hours a week in one of our elementary schools. I hope I help. I know I love it. As I am writing this letter, budgets in all jurisdictions are being slashed and taking away much-needed funds from our local schools, and indeed the whole community. With fewer supplies, less equipment and (worst of all) fewer employees, the schools are going to need volunteers like never before. A well-trained volunteer, who helps his or her supervising teacher with something the teacher simply doesn't have time for, could make an important difference for both children and teachers.

Children are truly the future of our town, state, country, planet. Right now, we desperately need to be educating as many clear-thinking young people as we can get.

Not all the volunteer work needs to be outside the home or highly organized. The best way I know to foster thinking and curiosity in kids is for their parents to read to them. At home. Regularly. Whenever the time is right. From an early age. Good books and the adults who read them are the best teachers kids can have. You will absolutely not be wasting your time by reading to your children, or your neighbors' kids or your grandkids.

Nancy Logan

Ocean Park

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