EDITORIAL: Youth highlight NAACP meeting
- Dallastown Elementary earns distinction as National Title I Distinguished School.
- Native Yorker battles back after brain tumor diagnosis, uses music to help others
Thumbs Up: To the York County NAACP and the students who attended the organization's recent meeting.
Local chapter president Sandra Thompson invited schools in the county to send student leaders to the meeting at Crispus Attucks last week.
She said the NAACP is relying on the vision and purpose of today’s “aspiring leaders” to effect change.
Students who challenge their teachers and classmates on inappropriate comments or behavior are leading the conversation in a positive way, Thompson said.
Several students spoke at the meeting, voicing concerns over how their schools’ administrations are dealing with racial incidents in the wake of the presidential election.
Addressing segregation, Eli Weary, a 10th-grade student at the Capital Area School for the Arts in Harrisburg said, “If we split these different ideas apart, there’s no chance for us to look at our brothers and sisters and understand them and have them understand us,”
We think getting youth involved in these important conversations is key to a diverse future.
Thumbs Up: To staff and students at Dallastown Elementary School, one of only two schools in Pennsylvania to be named a National Title I Distinguished School.
Each year, every state names two schools that have had exceptional student performance consistently, have worked to close the achievement gap between student groups or have excellence in serving special populations of students.
"I was very excited for the students and staff because they were being recognized (for) their efforts," Principal Charles Patterson said.
He said the elementary school has a high population of special-needs students, all of whom have experienced growth in the last few years.
"I’m kind of spoiled. The staff establishes high expectations, but they do it in a warm and loving environment, so it’s nice to see those efforts paying off," he said.
Thumbs Up: To Zachary Zortman for his courageous battle to survive a brain tumor.
The school guidance counselor and singer whose band won the 2015 YorVoice competition in York was diagnosed with a tumor in his frontal lobe, the part of the brain that controls language, comprehension and expressive speech. He was told he’d need surgery.
Zortman’s older brother Jesse has organized two benefits and started a GoFundMe campaign to cover the cost of follow-up care and living expenses while his brother is unable to work.
“When he came out of surgery he couldn’t speak in full sentences,” Jesse said. “Now he’s singing again.”
And he’s singing to patients similar to himself with plans to release a single targeting the struggles he overcame during his ordeal with the tumor.
“I know I have a battle on my hands, but I believe I can beat it,” Zack said.