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Letter: CAPIT Is A Wonderful Program

(Editor’s Note: The following letter is in response to the article “Island Trees Holds Town Hall Meeting” that appeared in the Friday, April 13, 2012 edition of the Levittown Tribune.)

As a parent in the Island Trees School District, I would like to comment on a recent article “Island Trees Holds Town Hall Meeting,” in your April 13th issue. The section of the article mentioning the students attempting the “cinnamon challenge” seems like an attack at CAPIT (Community Awareness Program of Island Trees) even though that may not have been the original purpose.

The article fails to mention the parents who stood up to defend the CAPIT program at that meeting. The “cinnamon challenge” is something children throughout the country have been unfortunately viewing on YouTube. As in most YouTube videos, the people creating the clips make their actions seem fun and entertaining. As we all know, this is usually not the case when repeated and can result in kids getting hurt.

CAPIT is a program that has an average of 25-plus parent chaperones at each event. It was mere coincidence that the students were hanging out at CAPIT when they attempted their stunt. The fact that they were at CAPIT had nothing to do with why they were trying it. They would have tried it anywhere. The difference is that because they were at CAPIT there were parents chaperoning, able to see what the kids were about to try and able to stop it right away. In the incident mentioned there were more than two parents that stepped in.  

The students were pulled aside and spoken to at great length about why their actions were dangerous, and why they should not do things just because others are.

CAPIT is a wonderful program that for over 20 years has been giving kids of the neighborhood a safe place to go once a month, along with sponsoring the Annual Senior Citizens Prom. It has plenty of adult chaperones to watch over them to ensure safety, and many parents prefer dropping their kids off at this program to letting them wander the neighborhood.

There are not nearly enough programs like this one that give kids a safe outlet.  CAPIT has and will always welcome parents to help chaperone. The more parents that want to get involved in what the children of our district do the better.

The Island Trees School District is 110 years old this year.  If we as a community would pool together to be more involved in what our children are doing, then maybe we can bring our community back to what it was when we grew up.

Too many adults shake their head saying things like “kids these days have no respect,” but not nearly enough stand up and pitch in. Many adults take the attitude of “it’s not my kid so it’s not my problem.” But if you see something, you should say something to a parent, to a teacher or even the police. Work together with your fellow parents and neighbors rather than try to place blame on other people or the programs trying to help the children, people should be stepping in to help. We all want a community we are proud of to raise our children in.

Linda Rincon