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Guilderland budget cuts questioned

Students, parents plead to keep assistant coaches and enrichment

Jonah Goldstein, a seventh grade student, petitions the Guilderland Board of Education to restore the middle school enrichment program, which is slated for elimination in the 2013-14 budget.

Jonah Goldstein, a seventh grade student, petitions the Guilderland Board of Education to restore the middle school enrichment program, which is slated for elimination in the 2013-14 budget. Photo by John Purcell.

— Middle school students from the enrichment program asked for the educational opportunity to remain.

Jonah Goldstein, a seventh-grade student, said he has been active in enrichment programs since entering Farnsworth Middle School last year.

“I went early to school every morning to engage myself in clubs that offered me advanced possibilities,” Goldstein said.

In Debate Club, he made it to the final round with his partner and lost by one point to the winning eighth-grade team. He also has risen to the position of editor-in-chief in the school’s newspaper club and oversees the group.

He recently was preparing to take the SATs as part of his enrichment program.

“I never thought I would take the SAT and neither did my peers, but we all did and walked out of the test centers feeling that we had done well and we were well prepared,” he said. “Without this program, none of this would have been possible for me.”

Mallory Trainor, also a seventh-grade student, said she has been taking enrichment courses since first grade. She said there is lack of opportunity for students to explore such learning outside of the program.

“Through these years I’ve learned that the gifted, talented and enrichment programs are an essential part of childhood education,” Trainor said. “Students that are gifted will not reach their full potential.”

The board is scheduled to adopt the budget on Tuesday, April 9, and voters will go to the polls May 21.

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