Hopes new school year erases bad memories

To the editor:

All of us have been watching television and seeing the devastation and destruction left by hurricane Katrina.

We have seen families split apart like the homes they so tragically lost.

As a person who helps to educate kindergartners, my concern was for the 5- and 6-year-olds who had been planning for months their first day of school. Think back to your first day of school and I am sure you can remember it like it was yesterday. I know I can.

Now imagine you are 5 or 6 years old and a storm like no one has ever seen before destroys life as you knew it. Your home, the new things that maybe you were lucky enough to have for the big day and even your friends, are gone. Water is everywhere around you as your parents struggle to hold you above the flooded streets just to keep you alive.

These images and thoughts are almost too much for an adult to bear; imagine being an almost kindergartner.

So it was with much happiness and a few tears, I saw on television, the other day, a group of new kindergartners getting on a bus to finally start their new lives on this their first day of school.

They had big smiles on their faces and new clothes and backpacks — everything every child deserves.

I hope now that their school year has finally started, all of the bad memories of things they have seen and heard will be replaced with fun days of being a kindergartner. I know that is my wish for them.

Barb Balling