Our Opinion: Kindergarten student provides peers with valuable lesson

November 18th, 2016 6:55 pm

Diamonds to 5-year-old Ayla Spinelli and her kindergarten teacher, Maria Unice. The duo recently held awareness-raising activities for Ayla’s classmates at Solomon/Plains Elementary in Plains Township, explaining Ayla’s rare genetic disorder. Epidermolysis bullosa, or EB, makes the skin especially fragile, sometimes leading to blisters, cuts and serious complications. Now Ayla’s situation – which prohibits her from participating in some things with her pals – doesn’t seem so strange to her peers, who received an early and valuable lesson in just how much we have in common. We all want to be understood.

Coal to hunters who break the law. On Saturday in Pennsylvania, thousands of rifle-toting people will take to Penn’s Woods in pursuit of black bears. (Archery hunters began their bear season earlier this week.) Regrettably, some of those individuals don’t properly respect the rules or the wildlife, choosing to illegally use corn, doughnuts and other delectables to draw the bears near for an easy shot. Baiting is shameful. If you witness any violation of the state’s game laws, contact the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Diamonds to the area’s AllOne Foundation and AllOne Charities. Officials with the grant-making groups this week announced another round of awards, disbursing more than $2.3 million to three dozen nonprofit programs in Northeastern and Northcentral Pennsylvania aimed at increasing the health of the region’s residents. Among the recipients: the Children’s Service Center ($250,000), St. Joseph’s Center ($100,000) and Meals on Wheels of NEPA ($15,000).

Coal to scam artists targeting veterans and their families. The state’s Office of Attorney General recently warned of “pension poaching,” in which unscrupulous financial planners or advisers charge veterans for services they are entitled to for free. Among the office’s many tips: “Ask (the financial adviser) what the impact of purchasing his/her product will be on your eligibility for other benefits such as Medicaid.”

Diamonds to King’s College students who participated in this week’s Hunger for Justice-related activities. During a 60-hour “homeless experience,” for instance, some took turns camped inside cardboard boxes that had been positioned near the heart of the Wilkes-Barre college’s campus. The attention-grabbing activity – and others coinciding with National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week – serves to prod people to think more about solutions to some of society’s most pressing, but sometimes hidden, problems.

Coal to people lacking in gratitude. Each of us has something, or countless things, for which to be thankful. Especially as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches on Thursday, consider your good fortune.