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Letters to the Editor Policy

Babysitting vs. Early Learning

It isn’t uncommon to hear the term “babysitter” used when referring to a person caring for a child in an early learning facility. While the term may be meant as a way of praise, it isn’t an accurate description.

As the Program Manager of Susquehanna County CARES (Childcare, Agencies, Resources and Educational Services,) I enjoy the opportunity to share what is happening in early learning facilities throughout Susquehanna County. The community engagement group’s mission is to enhance the quality of early care and education provided in Susquehanna County and to help fulfill Pennsylvania’s Promise for Children, because every child is Pennsylvania’s future.

The term babysitter implies someone who “sits” with a baby or young child when the parent or guardian is away. This falls short of what is happening in early learning environments throughout the area. There are nearly two-dozen licensed facilities caring for children in Susquehanna County. Many participate in Pennsylvania’s voluntary early learning initiative, Keystone STARS that requires additional staff education, staff participation in ongoing professional workshops, use of a curriculum and a learning environment that enhances development.

School districts across the county have also noticed the need for a quality early educational start. Three school districts, Blue Ridge, Forest City Regional and Susquehanna Community provide pre-kindergarten classrooms. The three along with Elk Lake, Mountain View and Montrose Area School Districts also support CARES School Readiness Backpack program, providing school readiness materials to families.

The work all of our early education practitioners do is shaping our future. Research shows children who receive a quality educational start before the age of five have a better chance of success later in life.

April 13-19 we celebrate “Week of the Young Child.” During this week, take a few moments to think about the early learning practitioners who helped shape your life. It is wonderful to know so many are dedicated to the important job of educating our young children in a way that sets their groundwork for success.

Thank you to all early learning practitioners.


Stephnie Thornton

Program Manager

Susquehanna County CARES

It Is Disgraceful!

Last Friday, the Federal Order #2 Market Administrator’s office announced the Class IV price (milk used for butter and powder) at $14.17 per cwt., resulting in chills going up and down our dairy farmers’ backs. The provisions in Order #2 indicate that the advance price paid to Order #2 producers will be the same amount as the value of Class IV milk, which is $14.17 per cwt. even though the value of Class III milk came in at $18.00 per cwt. (Some milk handlers still use the Class III price which is a carry over of the former Federal Order #2.)

However, more importantly, indicators show that the statistical price to dairy farmers around the 24th  of April (for March’s deliveries) could very well fall below $18.00 per cwt. This is alarming when one realizes that diesel fuel currently is at $3.94 per gallon (maybe higher now), compared to $2.25 per gallon last year. These daily escalating costs also have raised some fertilizer up to nearly $700 per ton. Couple these costs with feed prices escalating at least 35% over last year. Is it any wonder that many dairy farmers are alarmed and even frightened? Asking a dairy farmers to purchase these needed products on $14 and $18 milk is ludicrous.

You know it doesn’t have to be this way! Several times there have been sound programs presented to correct the dairy farmers’ problems, but unfortunately the programs fell on deaf ears. However, it now appears that S1722, The Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act, is gaining some possible new support. Both Democratic candidates for president are going to be looking at S1722. Something has to be done soon!

 We are receiving reports from the upper mid-west that fertilizer dealers have to be paid within 15 days or else! Reports from California indicate that dairy farmers have lost their markets and have no place to send their milk. Other reports indicate milk has been dumped for lack of enough plants. Are many of these things happening because of the global economy? Why are there so many mortgage institutions in trouble, and more importantly, why are there so many foreclosures?  Is it because foreign investors are controlling too much in the United States? Do foreign investors pull their money out when many things seem to be going sour, only to leave the local people holding the bag?

 Both Democratic presidential candidates are becoming aware that it is necessary to protect our home-based food supply. At the same time, it is important that something is done, and done soon to protect our local milk supply.

Contact Pro Ag at (570) 833-5776 or proagorg@yahoo.com.


Arden Tewksbury

Meshoppen, PA

General Manager, Pro Ag

Cause For Joy

I have to admit that one of the greatest experiences in my life was April 2 at St. John’s Parish Center for our Diocese of Scranton assessment meeting. It was very well attended, including representatives from our various church organizations. There was a wonderful sense of appreciation and concern for one another.

Father Leonard had experience with this and encouraged us. As questions called for a deeper reflection of the faith, we had to offer solutions for each inadequacy. Turns out what we miss the most is what we need the most; increased First Friday Eucharistic Adoration, to expand into forty hours, at least. After all, perpetual adoration is the ideal extension of Holy Mass. Many other suggestions were submitted for the parish pastoral council to submit to the bishop’s office. Let’s all remember, the family that prays together, stays together.

Thanks, St. John’s.


John Mann

Brandt, PA

Letters To The Editor MUST BE SIGNED. They MUST INCLUDE a phone number for "daytime" contact. Letters MUST BE CONFIRMED VERBALLY with the author, before printing. Letters should be as concise as possible, to keep both Readers' and Editors' interest alike. Your opinions are important to us, but you must follow these guidelines to help assure their publishing.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

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