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The Valley Reporter
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A lesson in sharing

By Jim Burmester

Moretown parents are seeking to organize a playgroup for their kids. And the town is meeting them with a surprising amount of resistance.

I am a Moretown resident, taxpayer and father. My name is James Burmester and on Monday, October 19, I sat in at a select board meeting to resurrect a playgroup that had previously existed at the Town Hall many years ago. That original playgroup eventually gained funding support and was able to move to the elementary school. Recently that funding was cut and the playgroup had no choice but to end.

Now a new effort is being made, headed by Moretown's Amy Brooks, to find a place where moms and their kids can get together to play and learn early socializing skills before they are sent off to school. The Town Hall was chosen as a starting point for this new playgroup on the recommendation of the elementary school principal. It is big enough, it is available, and it was the starting point for the original playgroup years ago.

It seems, however, that the Moretown Select Board and not the children are the ones who could use a lesson in sharing. The proposition given last Monday was "If the hall is not in use, could the parents of Moretown use it as a gathering spot for a parent-run playgroup as it had been used in the past?" This would only be once a week early Monday mornings. This playgroup is an easy way to invest in the children of Moretown. It costs nothing, but it would mean a place for our kids to stretch their legs during winter and a place for parents to interact as well. In what appeared to be a no-brainer decision, the select board had to take a two-week break and think about it.

The Town Hall is available, the issue of insurance has been addressed, Mrs. Brooks is willing to keep a flexible schedule should a conflict arise, parents are volunteering to help, grants for activities and supplies have even been procured. So what is the problem?

The select board said before they can let the kids in, the town must first come to some sort of general agreement as to how they want the Town Hall to be used.  I don't see how this playgroup could get in their way. It was suggested that children in the Town Hall could scuff the floors. I wonder how the parents of Moretown feel hearing that the wood floors we just spent all that money on restoring are now too good for their children's feet. Friends join me in supporting a free Moretown playgroup. Mrs. Brooks has been jumping through hoops since early spring. Enough is enough!

Burmester lives in Moretown.

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