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Readers' Letters

Renew Three Rivers Charter School

Three Rivers Charter School is a little island in a district of big schools ... that is its strength and why we should support the renewal of its charter.

All our West Linn-Wilsonville schools are amazing, and all our teachers are caring and dedicated. But not all children thrive in “big,” especially in the middle school years.

Well-behaved students, whose grades and attendance are adequate to excelling, can struggle privately. Perhaps their voice is too shy or they have a unique perspective on the world that doesn’t mesh with their peers. Maybe they are competitive or externally motivated in a system that rewards internal motivation and curiosity and need assistance to discover what makes them tick. Maybe they need to be seen and feel known in a way only a smaller environment can provide.

TRCS teachers help these students find their voice, assist them in developing strategies that make the most of their unique perspectives, teach them how to channel their competitiveness and desire for reward to achieve excellence. So, by the time these students become freshman at West Linn or Wilsonville High Schools, they know how to do “big.” They know themselves, understand that their life is what they make it and they thrive.

Increased funding for TRCS will grant this opportunity to more students who might benefit from such an environment and relieve the financial burden of families sacrificing to do what they think is best for their child. It will also send the message to families that have chosen TRCS that the district supports their children’s unique needs, gifts and talents and cares for them as much as every other student in the district.

For all these reasons, I hope you will support charter renewal and increased district funding for TRCS.

Tanya Rybarczyk

West Linn

Pumpkin smashing is not ‘cool’

Last night, somebody came to Three Rivers Charter School and smashed almost all of our pumpkins. Many of the pumpkins were carved by the students and teachers, and many had personal accessories attached to them. I think the people who smashed the pumpkins were either mad, or extremely sad, and should never had destroyed other people’s things.

Only about three pumpkins survived, and the rest of us are kind of upset. My pumpkin was one of the pumpkins that got smashed.

If the people who did it get caught, I would like to tell them that it was wrong of them to do that. If they thought that it was “cool” to destroy things, they were mistaken. If they decided to do it because they were angry, they should have tried to calm themselves down instead of making other people unhappy too.

Summer Tan

Three Rivers Charter School fourth-grader

Meet Knight’s challenge

The naysayers already are informing Oregonians that we don’t have the financial capacity or commitment to match Phil Knight’s $500 million gift to cure cancer (Who Gives?, Oct. 17). Others suggest each of us should contribute only $10 each or that Oregon Health & Science University should seek millions of dollars from wealthy individuals from outside Oregon.

Oregonians demand the best from themselves, and I expect we will match Knight’s generous gift within a few months. To achieve this goal, I propose each of us contribute $100 for every person living in our household. This will get us close to $400 million in matching funds.

Those of you who have relatives, friends or neighbors who might be financially challenged to make the $100 contribution could increase your own gift to cover one or more of those folks. This gift will no doubt be difficult for some of us, but anything we do that is significant often is difficult. However, by using a credit card to fund our gift we can meet the challenge right now, today.

Knight’s challenge to match this gift is not a Portland thing or a wealthy people’s thing; rather it’s an opportunity to solve a major health issue. The benefits of funding $1 billion for research will be more high-paying jobs, a renewed emphasis on learning and research, and a significant increase in the stature of Oregon and OHSU. I also challenge the Blazers’ owner, Paul Allen, to match the amount Oregonians contribute.

To make your gift, go to /www.ohsu.edu/xd/about/foundation and click on “give now” located within the “$1 billion cancer challenge” story, or phone in your gift at 503-228-1730 or 800-462-6608. After gifting, tweet to let others know you accepted the Knight Challenge.

Bob Peterson

Northeast Portland




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