When I arrived at work yesterday morning, my voice mails included a rather terse (that's being polite) message from a reader. For the life of him, he couldn't understand why Samoset Elementary's space camp would be on Page 1A in his Bradenton Herald. He didn't identify himself or leave a number, so I couldn't return his call.
It gnawed at me -- why not showcase local kids having a joyful learning experience? Why not have that "galactic good time" displayed front and center for a change of pace?
Well, thanks to Margi Nanney, Manatee School District's PIO, the best answers came from a parent. Margi e-mailed me this note to reporter Tiffany St. Martin:
Dear Tiffany St. Martin,
Your article on Samoset: “Galactic good time” was an absolute thrill for our students when they heard and saw their pictures in the newspaper and on the internet.
Thank you for all sharing your time with our Samoset family and making this summer a thrill for the children. As a teacher there is nothing more exciting than seeing our students thrills on their faces when they have done something positive especially while learning. You have given the students an experience they probably will never forget and may well be one of the most successful times for them. My son worked very hard on the music part of the project and was extra rewarding for him to get such great recognition. It was also very exciting and made me very proud of him and his dedication and to be recognized for his work was wonderful.
Again thank you for time and consideration for Samoset.
David M. Leppek
That one thank-you makes it all worthwhile. Here are links to Tiffany's story and Grant Jefferies' photo gallery, in case you missed them. There's also three audio soundbites attached, thanks to Tiffany.