Support N.J. Dems’ early childhood education plan; Best for mayor in Woodstown … –

To the Editor:

Countless studies have shown the educational and economic benefits of pre-kindergarten programs across the country. Children with access to high-quality “Pre-K”  have higher academic attainment, are more prepared for kindergarten. They are more likely than others to go to college and less likely to commit a crime.

Such programs in public school districts cost money. But they also save significant amounts of taxpayer dollars and provide huge long-term benefits. 

Many Republican politicians cannot seem to grasp the concept that sometimes you can spend money up front in order to avoid spending more money later. They have proven time and again that they are largely incapable of thinking outside of cliched, unrealistic tax-cut rhetoric. Republican Gov. Chris Christie doesn’t even pay attention to New Jersey anymore. He’s just collecting a check.

MORE: N.J. lawmakers call for investments to spur economy

Last week, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, unveiled a significant early childhood education initiative along with state Sen Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex. Ruiz has long been a proponent of expanded Pre-K. The plan calls for Pre-K for every New Jersey child.

As a mother of two small children, I strongly support Sweeney and Ruiz’s initiative. How can it be that in 2015 we still have half-day kindergarten in many school districts?  

Sweeney and Ruiz clearly understand the importance of these programs and the benefits they will have for New Jersey. I am very happy to see that they are working to implement them. 

Michelle Shirey

East Greenwich Township

Editor’s note: Shirey is employed by Gloucester County as executive director of its Workforce Investment Board. 

Select Hiles for Woodstown mayor

To the Editor:

Councilman Joe Hiles, the Democrat running for mayor of Woodstown, is a dedicated and passionate public servant. 

Raised in Woodstown, he is the son of the late Harol (Skeeter) and Joy Hiles. He has served as a volunteer firefighter for 20 years and was the fire company’s president. During Hiles’ five years on the council, he has chaired the Finance, Streets and Roads, and Health and Recreation committees. He experience to guide Woodstown into the future as mayor.

Whether it is responding to fires, auto accidents, medical emergencies or complaints about pot holes, tall grass or government spending, Hiles is a problem solver. 

Remember a broken telephone booth in the center of town? It’s gone. Remember the nightmare on Green Street and unpaved roads in High Bridge? He brought results. Joe takes to heart the definition of a representative and strives to make himself accessible.

Proven leadership is more than a catchy slogan – it is a characteristic best exemplified by actions. Joe Hiles exemplifies the characteristics of a good leader, son, husband, father, public servant and candidate for mayor.

Robert Scardino


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