Appreciating Poetry Out Loud
I’m writing to share my experience of participating in Poetry Out Loud for the first time in the fall of 2023, which exceed my expectations and left me grateful to have been a part of it.
The process of preparation leading up to the first performance was rewarding. Selecting two poems to perform allowed me to immerse myself in much that poetry has to offer. Despite only reciting two poems I’ve come out of the experience with a deeper appreciation for the art form and a reminder to look back on it more often.
Once our poems were chosen we had the opportunity to work with Thome George, generously funded by PSFA and Methow Arts, granting guidance and insight on recitation techniques and how to portray the many emotions so beautifully translated through poetry. Looking back on the experience, I am grateful to have watched my classmates grow through the memorization and recitation process.
I believe being able to support each other through our nervousness about presenting brought a greater sense of community among us. Watching the final performance at The Merc Playhouse was impressive. Each performer displayed newfound levels of refinement and emotions within their recitations compared to our first performance at Liberty Bell High School. It left me proud and inspired by the effort and talent my classmates demonstrated. I strongly encourage coming out to the 2024 Poetry Out Loud competition to support the amazing performances each student has to offer.
Liberty Bell High School
The long-term care crisis
I feel compelled as the Executive Director of Jamie’s Place to help people understand the real-life issues facing seniors in our community who require long-term care. Jamie’s Place just had a second prospective resident need to launch a GoFundMe campaign to afford care here. We are currently working on strategies to support seniors in our community. However, we are working within a system with stark inequities and inadequate funding. Long-term care is expensive. Care facilities must pay caregivers a livable wage to provide the quality care every elder deserves and expects.
Medicare does not cover long-term care. The only options available are to pay out of pocket, long-term care insurance or Medicaid. Medicaid is only for people who are completely out of money and without assets. This leaves a huge gap of seniors who have worked hard their entire lives but have little assets. When life necessitates the need for long-term care, this can be an insurmountable financial crisis for some seniors. This burden often falls on their children who are dealing with the challenge of caring for an aging parent while juggling their own lives.
We do set aside three rooms for seniors on Medicaid. Medicaid reimbursement is less than half the actual cost of providing care. In 2024, Jamie’s Place will need to fundraise for $200,000 to make up the shortfall. This is why we ask our community for financial support every year.
The current face of this crisis is Gary Marchbank, who dedicated his 55 years in the valley as a school teacher, electrician and most recently the Methow Valley School Board. He needed to launch a GoFundMe when the time came for him to need long term care. This reality is heartbreaking, maddening and morally shameful. We need a floodlight to shine on this crisis.
wish this situation was isolated. In an ideal world, we would admit elders based on need, not their ability to pay. This is the way it should work in a fair and just world. Please consider supporting Gary Marchbank’s GoFundMe at https://gofund.me/7f003954.
Giving the gift
Marilyn and I voted for both of the levies. Our children and grandchildren have benefitted from the excellence of Methow Valley schools. We notice the improvements in the schools year after year. Don Nelson’s editorial, the Pride newsletter and the letters in last week’s paper make points that don’t need repeating except for one: We’re replacing the existing levy assessments.
We voted to keep up the exemplary work. Let’s give our kids that gift.
Dave and Marilyn Sabold
Yes on levies
We urge everyone to vote for both propositions to replace expiring educational levies. As parents of a pair of recently graduated Methow Valley School District students, we know firsthand that our schools prepare all our children to enter the world with curious minds and strong characters. Our school district is truly unique in the way it leverages community members, professional educators, parents and students to work together to create an array of learning platforms that support each student’s individual journey as well as extracurricular programs that foster unity and teamwork.
Please join the team by voting yes on Propositions 1 and 2 and allowing our schools to continue to invest in our most precious resource — our children, our future.
Jill and Harold Sheley
Readers like me who had to look up Steamboat Willie on the internet, might appreciate some shortcuts to learning the significance of the Disney gigantic corporate influence. Two books I’m aware of, “The Disney Version” and “Disneyland in the Mountains,” both explore Disney’s background and its significance for the Methow, via the Mineral King Supreme Court case. I’m suspecting there’s more-recent investigations, and would appreciate information about what the Disney corporation is up to now. “Full Metal Jacket’s” use of the Mickey Mouse song is probably indicative of this influence. We used it at UW back in 1961 to help rid us of compulsory ROTC.
Vote for the future
As a parent of two children growing up in our schools, I am 100% supportive of and urge each of you in the community to vote yes on Proposition 1 and 2 school district replacement levies.
Our Methow Valley schools represent all of us, because our children are the future of our community. These levies are supporting our Career and Technical classes, internships and career counseling, all which help students with individualized interests and are building our teen’s skill set for tomorrow’s work force. These levies support academics in our schools through smaller class sizes, AP and College in the Classroom programs, and instructional materials and supplies, giving every child a chance to grow.
And near to my heart is the support our school prioritizes for after-school programs, and enrichment for our children through art, garden, science and technology programs, free of cost to families. We are incredibly fortunate to have administration, school staff, and teachers who give their all to provide our youngest community members with a quality education and experiences not always available in small, rural western towns.
Vote yes on Prop 1 and 2!