Backshop: Let’s not forget YAP for Zionsville


As summer marches on, we’re hopeful that the Zionsville Community Schools Board of Trustees will make a priority the investigation of whether to begin a youth-assistance program here. This is a subject about which one of our editors, Pete Smith, reported last month. The key elements appear to be: “Can we save kids? And can it be cost-effective?” We believe it is possible, having sponsored it and seen it work well in Westfield, where very few tax dollars are used to fund it. More than 400 kids’ lives have been reoriented in the right direction in the city to our northeast. It’s a beautiful thing when that happens. The program would include early intervention advocates that comb the town for ways to help children identified by our schools as at-risk. Symptoms, if you will, include: pronounced tardiness, absences, failure to submit homework and displaying passive-aggressive, and perhaps hostile, behavior. Since the program’s inception in Westfield, the graduation rate has soared to 98.4 percent. At the same time, there has been a decline of kids entering the juvenile-justice system. We’ve sat choked up while listening to kids who are in, or who have been through, the YAP program. Their stories of despair turned perseverance turned success is why the program exists. They are our future, and we believe it’s only proper to ensure that they carry a sense of worth and accomplishment into it. So at this point, the ball is in the schools’ collective court, if you will. What’s the move, folks?

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Major congratulations to the Zionsville Lions Club for organizing and staging another packed Fourth of July celebration! Nothing but positive comments have flowed our way in the aftermath, which underscores our decision for sponsorship of the event. The Lions have a great system going for this annual rite of summer, and we’re behind them all the way. Take a bow, folks!