Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

Thumbs up to the Bemus Point Central School District for its use of online coursework to expand the courses available to students. Carrie Yohe, director of student programs, Mike Mansfield, district superintendent, and Julie Verdonik, Maple Grove Junior-High School principal, recently presented a plan to increase online courses for sixth through eighth grade students in a blended classroom. Blended classrooms are a combination of teachers and online components letting students utilize aspects of the physical classroom and the virtual one. The district has already used online classes to boost the number of AP courses at Maple Grove High School from one in 2013 to 13 now. Now, middle school students will have similar access to tougher classes.

Thumbs up to Jamestown police for quickly catching the person they believe is responsible for a shooting Tuesday night on Liberty Street, and thumbs up as well to all of the witnesses who cooperated with police to help bring the investigation to a quick conclusion. One of the scary things about the incident was the danger to everyone in the neighborhood. Police investigating the scene found two bullet holes in the vehicle that was targeted — which means several of the shots fired completely missed their intended target. That’s a scary thought when one considers how many people live in close proximity in Jamestown’s neighborhoods.

Thumbs up to the Literacy Volunteers of Chautauqua County for expanding adult literacy services to Jamestown. The expansion focuses on the development of a substantial tutor base so that Jamestown residents can receive specialized, one-on-one tutoring with trained volunteers. Literacy Volunteers works to provide basic education to those who need to advance their reading, writing and math skills to obtain their professional and personal goals. Assistance is also provided to those who don’t speak or understand English, along with adults who are “functionally illiterate,” meaning they can’t read or write above a fifth-grade level. For more information, call Celina Kryk, Literacy Volunteers’ Jamestown-based adult literacy coordinator, at LVchautauqua@gmail.com or 294-1109. Kudos to the Literacy Volunteers of Chautauqua County board for realizing there is a role for the agency to play in Jamestown and making the difficult decision to take on added responsibilities. Doing more is not the easy path to take, but it is the right one.