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Report From Children Now

October 04, 1994

"Children Called Key Political Issue" (Sept. 25) discussed what educators have known all along. It is a sad state of affairs when 20% of our eighth-graders cannot write a simple essay. Well, approximately a third of our college graduates cannot write a basic letter. We pride ourselves on a decreased high school dropout rate. The sad truth is we are graduating more functional illiterates. It's a shame when our public schoolteachers have over 300 students in a course and only 26-30 books for all of the students. Books become a precious commodity--for the teachers, that is.

We live in the shadow of some of the richest technology-driven industries in the country, yet some of our schools train students on antiquated equipment. We live in the shadow of some of the most palatial homes on earth, yet we send our children to schools that are falling apart. We build, install and hire the best security money can buy to protect our material goods, yet we fail to protect our most valuable asset (our children) and allow them to be gunned down on school grounds.

Our cities have become war zones and we send our defenseless children into the streets to fend for themselves. With all the problems our children confront daily, no wonder they are so agitated and angry. The real world for students in certain areas is survival. The best investment we can make in our future is shaping our children. Someday, whether we like it or not, they will be the leaders. What we teach our youth today will be their foundation for tomorrow.

DORIS A. CHRISTOPHER

Santa Ana

* Children Now of Los Angeles asks the electorate to elect leaders "that put the interests of children first by investing in the right start for every child." The right start for a child is to be born to two mature parents who want the child, have the ability to nurture and care for the child and support it.

Children Now says "it requires constant pressure from the public to demand that our elected officials do right by our kids." Children don't appear out of thin air; it is those who produce children who need to do right by their kids.

Children Now blames many of the deaths of babies before their first birthday on lack of proper prenatal care. A child born to a child, a teen-age mother, out of wedlock, is the one most likely to lack proper prenatal care, have little chance for nurture and guidance, suffer abuse, and live in poverty. Children Now needs also to address the irresponsible insemination that produces so-called fatherless children--every child has a father as well as a mother!

LOUISE BIANCO

Tarzana

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