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ISSUE: People making a difference
OUR VIEW: It begins with an idea
When you see a need, act upon it.
That’s the life lesson from Rachel Ritchie, 9, who thinks the playground equipment at Optimist Park in her hometown of Vine Grove should be accessible to all.
Rachel recently carried her message to a meeting of Vine Grove City Council.
“I have an idea to get playground equipment for the disabled kids in Vine Grove,” the third-grader said.
She took photographs of the existing park equipment and, with assistance from her parents, researched the cost of improvements. She believes her idea of Fun for Everyone Park could be fully accessible with about $20,000.
The mayor and council embraced her proposal and the city is establishing an account to accept donations.
Rachel’s work demonstrates again that one person can make a difference.
LEAP AHEAD. Many accomplishments begin with a motivated mom. After seeing her 6-year-old daughter’s enthusiasm during a performance of the Jumping Hawks of LaRue County, Kelly Hamlin was motivated.
She took the idea and her own interest to St. James Regional Catholic School. Soon the Jumping Knights were skipping rope. In addition to teaching steps, developing routines and setting them to music, she’s created an avenue for fitness and self-esteem.
“The greatest thing about my program is the impact it’s had on their self-esteem and they do not realize how healthy they’re getting,” she said.
The impact is obvious to other parents.
“She demands a lot of the kids but is always clear about her expectations and is always positive,” said Julie Powers, who had two daughters participate.
Any teacher or coach would appreciate that kind of assessment and it’s certainly a fitting tribute to this motivated mom.
“Those kids genuinely love her,” parent Brian Smith said. “Kelly Hamlin is a very special person.”
SPELLING EXCELLENCE. For another demonstration of diligence and hard work, let’s look to eighth-grader Dillon Brock.
He has earned his way into the Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee.
It should all seem familiar since the West Hardin Middle School student also was the local champion last year. By correctly spelling “tortoise,” he was the last person standing in the Hardin County contest, which featured 19 students who qualified at the school level.
While congratulations deservedly go to Dillon, the praise should be shared with runner-up Aysia Williams of Woodland Elementary School and all the qualifiers.
In this era of text abbreviations and computerized spell checkers, it's good to see students sharpening their personal knowledge and skills.
It's not every day you're expected to spell “blasphemy,” “monochrome,” “cotillion” or “periwinkle,” but it remains a valued and appreciated talent.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.