Once again, the Grand Poo-bahs of education in Maryland have spoken.
We're in the volunteer business. The 10 million bucks the county says it needs to fund the new public service requirement is going to come from God knows where, but we're in the volunteer business. Required voluntarism. Ironists and lovers of oxymorons, take note!
But make no mistake about it, there's much work to be done. And who knows? Maybe the unleashed talent and energy of the young will make a real difference in our lives.
Folks, I want to be a part of it. Some high-priced bureaucrat is going to be assigned to administer this boond- . . . er . . . worthy program -- that's axiomatic in public education -- but let me beat the desk jockeys to the punch and suggest some ways in which this influx of juvenile altruism can be put to good use.
I offer these at no charge. My fellow citizens: Ask not what your Board of Education can do for you; Ask what you can do for your Board.
I suggest we deploy our new student volunteers to the following areas of need:
* A squad of youngsters on traffic patrol at the Annapolis City Dock to help keep all that excess yogurt traffic from clogging the downtown thoroughfares.
* A specially selected group of kids trained in CPR and assigned to the county's athletic coaches on days report cards come out. With the mandatory 2.0 now in place, you can't be too careful. "Hey, where'd my team go? Aaaaaargh!!!!"
* A math tutor for Bullets' draftee Tom Gugliotta. You turn down a five-year $10.725 million offer to sign in Italy for "something over a million" a year? A teen-age math whiz could come in handy for this hapless hoopster.
* A group of sensitive peer counselors could staff a hot line for adolescent governors in crisis.
* Kids could help the city of Annapolis install red street lamps along the West Street corridor.
* The gnashing of teeth in the Neall-Pepersack encounter could end if a young volunteer assumed the duties of the county undersheriff. Bobby Pepersack keeps his precious position, Bobby Neall keeps his bank balance intact, and everybody lives happily ever after. God bless those kids!
* Some of the children could staff a literacy center for former vice presidents.
* Groups of youngsters could visit the lonely and disenfranchised. I bet Mickey Steinberg would love the company.
* And how about a construction battalion of kids to help build and furnish some of those 95 portable classrooms we're going to have to use when school opens later this month?
A $10 million volunteer program instituted when hundreds of kids are stuck in rinky-dink portable classrooms?
Thank you, Maryland!
Take a bow, Nancy Grasmick!
Trailers for success!
Phil Greenfield is an Anne Arundel school teacher, who writes for the Anne Arundel County Sun.