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Letters to the Editor published Dec. 2, 2009
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No child left behind in the area of computers?

Editor, Ceres Courier,

It is wonderful to read in the Ceres Courier all of the positive comments about the Ceres Unified School District, CUSD Board of Education, administration, teachers, coaches, volunteers, parents, students and residents.

This positive influence is the requisite to procure CUSD in becoming the number one school district in the state.

I would like to use the Courier's equal access opportunity to purpose an idea to everyone mentioned above, to consider the possibility of having a computer notebook at every students desk, from grades 1 - 12.

This could easily be compared to on-line college classes. The desired goal is for every Ceres student applying for college or a tech education will qualify for any higher educational institution program in the world market. The fact is, 99.999 percent of all business in the world, rely on computers in every aspect of their businesses. Therefore, computers should be the students textbooks.

The equation would be, is the overall amount of money spent per year on text books more cost effective than purchasing computers and educational DVD programs? Do students in school districts using computers have higher GPAs than school districts using text books along with their 90-pound book bags?

It is possible to offset 100 percent of the total cost to retrofit the entire school district. Through possible grants and/or a partnership with a U.S. based computer company, as a pilot program.

Every student is an individual person and it is impossible for text books to measure students overall progress. However, by the use of computers along with educational DVDs, each student will have their own personalized education program that will maximize their learning potential with instant access to their progress or complications.

It will save teachers 100 percent of time spent issuing, correcting and reviewing tests. Because tests will be taken on the computer, the computer will correct the test, and the computer will explain to the student if their answer is wrong, and why their answer was wrong. Instead of the current process, using test results to determine the percent that was right and wrong, not what the students have learned. It will also allow teachers to immediately determine which students currently need individual help. The teachers will be able to give some students extra credit for being a teachers aid and helping students having problems.

The end result: A decrease in the drop-out rate, an increase in students being accepted to colleges of their choice, students qualifying for more scholarship money and financial aid.

The school district's basis for the cost of an individual student education assessment should be based on the GPA of the district as a whole, not by how much money the district will receive or will not receive based on student attendance.

If a family cannot afford a computer for their student to do their homework, the district can provide a fee waiver or families or businesses can donate their old computars to be retrofitted for families in need and qualify for a grant to start a computer recycle program and a new high school class called "Computer Retrofit Tech Training Program." A win-win opportunity.

So let's use the Courier to examine the pros and cons of having a computer at every students' desk. Our children are the future and they cannot afford this country's deficit that we are so graciously dumping in their laps. It's time to invest in that future by investing in them.

Craig Keesler,


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City, Partnership rounding up toys

Editor, Ceres Courier,

The Ceres Public Safety Department and the Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children have joined a strong allegiance this year in providing special services to our Ceres community.

This December, we plan to have a Toy Drive for needy children. We wish to strengthen our committee by inviting all businesses to participate in this generous holiday season.

We are seeking toy donations between the ages of 0 to 15 years. Please ask and invite all of your employees and clients to donate at least one unwrapped toy. These toys will be given to selected children in the Ceres and Modesto area.

We are planning to hold a Christmas event on Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Your donations will be distributed to selected needy children.

I am hopeful and pray for your participation in this holiday event. The donated toys may be delivered to the Ceres Police Department to my attention. I am also willing to pick up your donations at your place of business as well. Please contact me if your business participated in the toy drive to receive recognition and our appreciation.

On behalf of the Public Safety Department, please accept our appreciation for your support.

Sgt. Jose Berber,

Ceres Police Department

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Letters to the editor will be considered for publication but must be signed with the author's name, address and telephone number. Letters should contain 250 words or less and be void of libelous statements. Letters may be sent to The Ceres Courier, P.O. Box 7, Ceres, CA 95307, or emailed to