Letter: Online school can work well | Letters

Online school can work well

When it came to enrolling our son in kindergarten in fall 2021, one of the biggest determinants was the pandemic. Seeing how the shutdowns had negatively impacted education for so many, we wanted something different for Alexander. We never expected to find it so close to home.

When my wife started working at Virginia Virtual Academy, where she is now the elementary school principal, I would never have guessed that two short years later, we would both be employed at the school with our youngest starting kindergarten online.

At VAVA, Alexander has had the opportunity to be academically challenged more than I think he would have in a brick-and-mortar school. He is taking math at a first-grade level — as a kindergartner — and is in advanced reading. As his learning coach, it has been so rewarding to see him learn reading and phonics. With the support of his teachers, being a part of my son’s education in this way has become something I enjoy, even as my wife and I manage working full-time at home.

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We are so thankful for the opportunity to teach and learn alongside our son. It works great for our family, and we are so proud of Alexander for coming so far in a short amount of time.

Understanding of epilepsy is sorely lacking

I think the Congress needs to focus on more important things than discrimination on hair styles.

I’ve had epilepsy since I was 10 years old. In college my grade point average was 3.8. I was never hired. I was even denied a job as a hotel maid. I did volunteer work with George Kegley for many years. He saw how well I could work and gave me his permission to use him as a reference when I applied for a job. Still, no one would hire me.

I took applications, kept the files and records at the food pantry he was in charge of at our church. I worked at the RAM House, at Habitat Housing and even went to Florida after a hurricane to help.

Seizures can be controlled with medication, just as diabetes is. I tried to support myself, but with no job I had to apply for Supplemental Security Income. If I was not discriminated against, I could have worked and paid taxes, instead of depending on the government to support me.

Any race can have epilepsy. The public needs to know more about seizures, to understand them and not discriminate. I have contacted the city several times in the past and even the governor about Purple Day — it is Saturday, March 26. It is for epilepsy awareness. People wear purple to represent epilepsy, just as they would wear pink for breast cancer.

I am 63 now and still able to type this letter on my personal laptop. I have experience with computers as far back as Keypunch. A few years ago, I broke the screen on a laptop and replaced it myself. Epilepsy does not make a person disabled. It is the ignorance of others that does. Ask the Congress how many different types of seizures there are — then you will see how ignorant they are.

Catherine Wydner, Roanoke

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