Dear Senator Brownsberger,
This is Gang Zhao, a father with kids in Belmont public schools.
We are organizing a Chinese culture school with Winchester School of Chinese Culture (WSCC) for Belmont residents in September 2012. It is a non profit organization to introduce Chinese language skills and culture to Belmont students.
WSCC is a highly accoladed and well received program in Winchester. They are becoming the front runner of culture infusion for new immigrants in the society. ( http: www.wscc-ma.org) We want to establish a similar program for the town of Belmont.
I am reaching out to you for a discussion regarding school bus support for the new after-school program. We consider school buses the safest and most time efficient system for our elementary school students. We have contacted the Belmont school department for possible cooperation but are politely refused. We know other curriculum enrichment program have tried in the past with similar results.
We would like to get your support for the following reasons.
1, The upcoming afterschool program will benefit Belmont community as a whole. Any families interested in getting their child to learn Chinese are welcomed. It also helps to create a multi-culture environment in Belmont.
2, It is elected school committee and department’s duty to ensure safety in transportation for every Belmont student. The effort of dropping off students at home is comparable to dropping them off at an after-school. Any after-school program should not be excluded out of the school bus system because they miss the “public” label. Town of Cambridge, Acton, Lexington, Winchester school bus system supports town-wise transportation for afterschool/extra-curriculum programs. Belmont could do the same.
3, All the parents are paying for the bus. The school bus system are under-utilized and poses a financial burden for the town. (many of the bus routes make less than 10 stops! http://www.belmont.k12.ma.us/finance/) We will provide an extra source of revenue, a win-win scenario.
4, The new program will operate with or without school bus system. But scheduling another bus into the school might cost each students at least extra twenty minutes waiting for the public school bus loaded and leave, even under adverse weather conditions. That is the extra burden we don’t want to put on our kids. The cost is also prohibitively high for our non-profit organization.
It will be greatly appreciated if we could meet and discuss this issue. As an under-represented minority group, we would appreciate any guidance and support from you.
Thank you and sincere regards,
I can be reached at my personal email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Gang Zhao and Belmont Chinese After-School Program