Dear Perry Community,
I wish to go on the record with my support for the Vote Yes for Perry Kids bond referendum. This project, IN ITS ENTIRETY, is an investment in the Perry community and will bear fruit for years to come.
Perry has enjoyed a rich tradition in the industrial skills curriculum that should not just be celebrated, but cultivated and expanded. Skills such as wood working, carpentry, welding, automotive/engine repair, and computer aided drafting & design (CADD) are all arts that have largely evaporated from the curriculum of most schools. In Perry these programs not only flourish but student demand now exceeds the school’s ability to provide enough safe space to meet this demand.
Teaching our children to work with their hands in addition to their minds is, in my opinion, a critical step towards rebuilding the vibrancy the Perry community once enjoyed. Teaching our children to build or to repair something is perhaps just the spark needed to provide a seed for future entrepreneurship in our community.
I have also had the great privilege of helping coach this community’s youth wrestling program for the last 10 years. I have seen the transformation, both mentally and physically, this sport has provided for countless numbers of our Perry youth. Determination, sacrifice, self-confidence and working towards goals are just a few of the many skill sets this sport provides; all of which translate well towards a student’s future success in life. I have so enjoyed my encounters with former Jr Jays and listening to them recount to me how the lessons learned in that cramped little room have helped them later in their life. While the uses of this new room will go beyond just wrestling I felt it important to share with you through my eyes, the impact wrestling has had with the youth of this community. Its reach has been far and wide.
I used the word investment earlier in this letter because that is what I believe this bond referendum to be, an investment in Perry kids which are the future of our community.
Jay R. Nelson