The purpose of this letter is to thank those who have been directly involved with the Vandalia-Butler Passport to Safety program. The Passport to Safety graduation ceremony held last Monday, August 24, at the Hangar not only honored those students entering school who have recently received their “passports”, it also was a great opportunity to recognize the folks who initiated this experience for our students in 1985! That’s right…Passport to Safety has been around for 30 years!!
My own daughters enjoyed Officers Hail, Kimbrell, & Busse. They rode the bus driven by Linda (Orange) Brewer, Jean Taylor, or Vivian Finley while “Silly Sally” Knox demonstrated how not to act on the bus!! Then each child held a fire hose with the help of Fireman Mike (Blakesly). Marie McGee taught kindergartners at all three elementary schools in the first years. After a few years, others of us stepped in to teach. In those early days DP &L brought its equipment to demonstrate electrical safety as well. Most importantly the kids learned about safety and became well acquainted with those who can help them in an emergency. They learned that our community “helpers” are our friends.
It was so fun for me to see many of my former students on Monday night. They are parents of present kindergarteners receiving their “passports.” Officer Doug Nagle did a wonderful job of coordinating and teaching the program this year.
Vandalia-Butler City Schools has continued to provide quality programs for its students over the years. This particular one has become somewhat of a “rite of passage” for children as they enter school. As a retired educator, community member, and of course a parent of two Butler grads, I appreciate the efforts of our community and school leaders to continue Passport to Safety.
Please consider moments like we enjoyed last Monday night with our young students as we enter into the fall. The school district will be on the ballot in November with a RENEWAL levy. More information will be coming about the renewal levy. Should you have questions, please contact me or my former teaching colleague, Jackie Martin. We are acting co-chairs of this campaign and would be glad to speak with you. Any assistance you may want to offer would also be appreciated. (See the information below.)
Margo T. Steinbaugh
Parent, retired Kdgn. teacher, community member
Co-Chair Citizens for Education