Scholarship committee grateful to donors
The Waunakee Scholarship Committee would like to thank everyone who contributed to the 2020 Waunakee Scholarship Fund in support of the continuing education of the Class of 2020 Senior Class. Given the uncertainties that Covid-19 presented, and the need to take the drive to an online format, we did not know what to expect.
We would like to commend the participating Class of 2020 Seniors who rose to the challenge and spread the word through social media, email, text messages, and community flyers. Through their efforts, and with the generosity of this great community, we received donations from 43 area businesses and countless families! For more information, please visit www.waunakee.k12.wi.us/high/scholarship.cfm
Thank you to the people of Waunakee for your generosity, and good luck to our Class of 2020 Seniors!
The Waunakee Scholarship Committee
Why wear a mask?
“To wear or not to wear”, “Have you tested negative or where have you been lately”, “To be informed or be insensitive”, and more importantly “Is that maskless person safe or a spreader”? Those are questions and topics I’m hearing a lot about nowadays.
I don’t like it, sometimes it feels awkward, but I wear a mask in public just the same. I wear it so others feel safe around me, especially those that may be susceptible or have risk factors like the reader last week. People don’t know if I’m contagious, an asymptomatic, where I’ve been, or who I’ve been hanging around with. So, it makes sense to follow the guidelines and trust the many studies showing masks help stop the spreading of the COVID virus.
I know of people taking extreme safety precautions and those simply following the guidelines of keeping distance, wearing masks in public, avoiding crowds, and sanitizing or washing hands. I respect each of their views and do everything I can to make them feel safe.
So, I’m puzzled with people that won’t wear a mask in public places. I’m not sure if they’re misinformed or insensitive to those around them. I’m not sure if they’ve been around infected people or if they’re potential spreaders. They are after all not following guidelines, so I assume they’re careless in other situations.
So, I avoid people and the places where they aren’t wearing masks or aren’t required to wear them. Part of the reason I do this is so my family and friends know I have been safe and they can feel safe around me — from a distance.
I’m also wondering how things would have turned out if our country had a pandemic plan, or hadn’t tossed out what we had. What if they had implemented strict but simple safety guidelines of masks, distance, wash, and be responsible. Could we have avoided the current financial situation? Could businesses have been saved? Could a simple mask have made such a big difference?
Major reports indicate the mask has been very effective around the world. So, perhaps things would have been different? Or, would people actually take action if not forced to? My fear is the latter.
Village leaders need to take a stand
We the people of Waunakee and the surrounding area hold our community accountable for change. We expect our leaders to publicly condemn all racist and hateful acts and statements, past, present, and future. Any hope for change begins with our leadership being willing to take a stand.
We believe there is much work yet to be done to make our community a place where everyone is welcomed and accepted. We want Waunakee to be a place of equity for all, a community where children of all backgrounds are considered equals, and all of our neighbors are potential friends. We want to believe that Waunakee is a great place to live and raise children, but the events of the past weeks have shown that we have a lot of work to do.
Therefore, we write this letter to request that Village and School leadership work together with members of the wider community to start long-term action to increase equity and inclusion in our area. We want to create spaces for the community to learn about other cultures and people. The Waunakee Board of Education’s new Ad Hoc committee and the Village Board’s public hearing on race and inclusion scheduled for June 25th are a good start, but we also need a continued educational movement for the larger community. Village-sponsored speakers at the public library, special presenters brought in to the Village Center, and community events geared toward cultural awareness are all potential ideas.
We’ve seen historically that events can spark a brief interest in change, and as soon as the fury dies down a little, the movement toward equity and inclusion stagnates. We believe our nation is turning a corner now, and our community must do the same, committing to long-term change.
Our primary request is that Village leaders take initiative to bring us together as a community to share stories and concerns, and to make yourselves available for feedback and questions around equity and inclusion. We must all become more vulnerable in order to grow. We all have much to learn, and we hope you as leaders will show up to take us forward into this uncertain but hope-filled time.
Melissa El Menaouar