Letters to the Editor Editor's note: This letter was received by Merle Eintracht, USD childcare coordinator at the Vucurevich Children's Center.
USD children's center commended
Last summer we bought Tanner some preschool materials in an attempt to teach him letters, sounds, and numbers. My parents were visiting for a large portion of the summer and my mother, Tim and I each took turns working with him throughout the summer. We were fairly consistent and thought we were doing an adequate job. However, by the end of the summer we had seen very little progress and I wondered if Tanner was just a slow learner. In August when we re-enrolled Tanner into your center I was delighted to hear about the changes in your program and new pre-school curricula.
Within a week of attending the pre-school we started to see a noticeable change in Tanner's ability to identify letters and numbers. After only a few weeks your teachers were able to accomplish more than we had in an entire summer. It became painfully obvious that Tanner was not a slow learner but that we were simply terrible teachers! Tanner's ability to identify numbers, letters and sounds has increased at an almost expediential rate over the last couple of months. Each week we see a marked improvement over the week before. Even more exciting is his enthusiasm for learning and resulting boost to his self esteem by displaying his newly learned skills.
We have also noticed a substantial increase in his vocabulary, better sentence structure, an ability to identify shapes, an understanding of which primary colors mixed make which secondary colors, and the list goes on and on.
Tanner is the youngest of three children. Both his bother and sister were enrolled in pre-schools when they were young and excel academically. Until now I thought that the pre-school program that they were in as young children was second to none and have attributed much of their academic achievements to the foundation they received in pre-school. Your teachers and your program have exceeded my expectations and if academic achievements can be attributed to the foundation laid in the pre-school years then the Vermillion school system will have to re-evaluate their "talented and gifted" program because it will be inadequate and not challenging enough for the kids that are currently attending your school.
I am convinced the difference is not the abilities of the children as much as it is the ability of the teachers to teach. You obviously have extremely gifted teachers on your staff and they should be commended for their efforts. As a parent, their contribution is invaluable and very much appreciated.
Melanee Clark, director
Laboratory Animal Science
University of South Dakota
Thanks shared for 'wonderful coverage'
To the editor:
Thanks for the wonderful coverage of the news last weekend. For those of us who would like to have been in two places at once it was a great help to see the photos as well as to read your story coverage, especially of the bridge.
I hope that we will indeed realize an ongoing improvement in trade as well as in museum and sports attendance. Since the population on either side of the spectacular bridge is small, to say the least, I admit to having been a skeptic. But what an improvement in my feelings.
We are no longer confined to going to Yankton or Sioux City to get to northern Nebraska. For those who haven't made the trip, go. The Nebraska hills are truly gorgeous.
The new and short term exhibit in Sletwold Hall at the W.H. Over Museum is also spectacular, not because of the high tech installation, but because of the remarkable flags that represent our nation, which are currently on view.
We have not only a flag from the USS South Dakota for World War II, but also a lovely and fragile flag with 40 stars representing the fact that South Dakota was the 40th state in the Union. There are others as well.
In addition, we have on exhibit things of General Lloyd Moses, and uniforms of others from World War I to Vietnam.
Our show is not exhaustive of the gifts given to the W.H. Over, but with the restricted funds under which the Friends of the Museum are required to operate, it is the best we can do this year.
The show will be disassembled Nov. 29, so I urge you to encourage everyone to come and appreciate the celebration of the sacrifices of our people so that we may live in this great nation.
Dorothy E. Neuhaus
W.H. Over Museum