EDITORIAL: Southington parents raise money for middle school sports

EDITORIAL: Southington parents raise money for middle school sports


It’s remarkable what people can do with a cause they find worth backing, and particularly remarkable what parents and sports boosters can achieve when they set their minds to it.

That’s taking place right now in Southington, where a lack of funding for middle school sports has inspired a drive to pay for those activities. Middle school sports supporters are trying to raise $60,000 needed for fall sports, in response to cuts made by the school board.

The effort has raised $13,000 so far, according to Michael DeFeao, president of the Southington Middle School Athletics Association. Along with parents, those pitching in include community leaders and business owners.

Three sports need $20,000 each, which along with an activity fee to pay for coaches and other expenses will take care of fall sports.

“It’s astonishing what they’re accomplishing,” said Patricia Queen, a school board member and member of a committee established to find ways to preserve sports. “The parents, they’re all stepping up.”

Parents and others hope to be able to fully fund fall sports more than three days a week, but that will depend on the money raised.

At a Town Council meeting in the spring, supporters listed several ways in which participation in sports benefited young people, including combatting obesity, building character and the opportunity of participation given to lower-income students. Extra-curricular activities also help eliminate idle time.

That parents and others have stepped up to the plate to continue to give students the opportunity is commendable, but as admirable as it is it’s also worth bemoaning why it has reached this stage.

Parents and others are already contributing to their school systems, supporting it with hard-earned tax dollars.

That it doesn’t amount to enough funding to continue middle school sports and other victims of budget cuts is a woeful situation. It’s a sign of the times.

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