EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 7, 2013

Your view: Letters to the editor

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Development center changes children’s lives

To the editor:

As the Professional Center for Child Development in Andover celebrates its 40th anniversary of providing educational and therapeutic programs and services to children in our community, there are many memories we hold and two words that come to mind for our family. These words are “forever grateful.” We were able to witness firsthand the compassion, commitment and dedication that the staff of the PCCD provides to the families and children they serve.

Nearly 13 years ago we travelled to Yangjiang, Guangdong Province, China, to adopt a beautiful baby girl. As first time parents, we were filled with the joy of becoming a family. Caroline was all that we had hoped for and more! She had spent the first nine months of her life in an orphanage and was grossly underweight and had significant developmental delays.

We returned home and almost immediately contacted the PCCD at the urging of our pediatrician. The center and their early intervention program were amazing in their response to our needs. An evaluation was done and aggressive occupational and physical therapy sessions began. Within a very short time major improvements in gross and fine motor skills could be seen. Her major milestones lagged behind but she continued to progress at a nice pace. At age two, we enrolled her in the center’s “Two by Two” program where she socialized, improved her language skills. By her third birthday all of the goals set forth early on had been met and she was well on her way!

We travelled back to China one more time a couple of years later and adopted Catherine, who at 8 months old had been in a foster care program in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province. She was on target developmentally and did not require any services. She attended the center’s Two by Two program and thrived while there.

Today both girls are happy and healthy and have given us so much to be thankful for in life. While we spend much time wondering what the future holds for them we also celebrate their past and just how far they have come in their journey. We are and always will be forever grateful for all of the dedicated staff, amazing educational programs and unending support that was given to our family by the Professional Center.

Maureen Payne

North Andover

Urge Congress to repeal budget cuts

To the editor:

First of all, I am one of the vast majority of Americans who are disillusioned by the gridlock that exists in Washington by both parties. However, it is quite clear that it is one particular party that is using politics in a way that is not only undermining our democracy but is also allowing our economical, social, health, education, our military and our veterans, the elderly, children, homeland security, aviation, research, the most vulnerable among us, and vital business interests to be used as mere bargaining chips.

How Washington came to the point of even allowing such a potentially disastrous situation to occur, that is, sequestration, is beyond this citizen. However, it is here and don’t believe the press or the pundits that it is not as bad as it was once believed. No, it will be even worse. The impact to New Hampshire will be most severe, do not think otherwise or you will be very sadly mistaken. This paper will not allow me enough room to list all the devastating cuts that will be taking place in the near future; however, you can easily find the sources to see exactly what they entail. When you do, I do not think that any reasonable citizen would do otherwise than to contact her or his elected officials and urge them to repeal sequestration.

George Manos


Scholarship dinner was a great success

To the editor:

Salem Dollars for Scholars would like to express its appreciation to everyone who braved the stormy weather to attend the annual dinner dance on Friday, March 8 at the Atkinson Country Club. The 150-plus supporters were treated to a delicious buffet, great entertainment by Good Time DJ, and many fine raffles and baskets.

A special thank you goes to the dinner dance committee, especially Christine Jefferson and Freida Ceaser who organized the event, and all the volunteers who helped to make the evening a success.

The event is always a special time for families and friends to gather together to remember loved ones. Many of the memorials that have been established over the years were well represented. The Ferguson, McLean, and Vadala families typically have large numbers in attendance, and this year was no exception. But some attendees made unusual efforts to share the moment such as Kristen Vadala, who traveled all the way from California.

Dollars for Scholars always welcomes new members and people join for various reasons. Some desire to give back to the community if they or a family member received a scholarship, while others may want to start a memorial for a loved one knowing that any contribution made goes to the good cause of making college more affordable for a deserving student. Anyone interested in joining Dollars for Scholars or who wishes to make a donation to the organization, may do so by contacting Heidi Greenlaw 603-893-7069, extension 5306 or Christine Jefferson 603-898-3631. More information may also be obtained on the Dollars for Scholars website at www.salemdollarsforscholars.org.

Frank Stewart