Judy Sekulski is a parent at Midvale-Lincoln School in Madison. In this article she responds to the Madison district administration’s recent public statements about Safe Haven programs.
I am writing in response to Lucy Chaffin’s column on
July 12, 2004, (“Schools Offer Quality Childcare”),
about the Safe Haven after-school programs run by
MSCR. She states that, “The district doesn’t support
separate programs running side-by-side in elementary
schools (as was the case last year at Midvale) because
this results in segregation by income and race.”
This implies that the Safe Haven program at Midvale will
integrate the children in one program. This is not accurate.
There will be a K-5 Safe Haven at both Midvale and Lincoln
campuses, with children who attend each campus returning
to their neighborhood campus for Safe Haven care, so that
siblings from grades K-2 and 3-5 can be together, near
their homes. So, this will not integrate the children who
currently attend the K-5 Midvale AFTER SCHOOL
program and the Midvale Safe Haven program.
It was unfair of her to imply that those of us who want
to keep AFTER SCHOOL at Midvale somehow
condone the separation of the kids there by race. In
September 2003, the district created the “side-by-side”
situation at Midvale (where AFTER SCHOOL has
operated for 25 years), by installing a K-2 Safe Haven
there, when there was already a Safe Haven at Lincoln.
AFTER SCHOOL is already a diverse program, with
staff and students of color. If it had access to the
tax dollars to which Safe Haven does, it could expand its
existing programs to serve more low income children.
It is by no means elitist. It has been a good partner
with our schools for over 25 years, providing high
quality care in an environment of respect, equality,
and fair play.
Jane Sekulski, a Midvale-Lincoln parent