As parents of OPRF High School students, we urge Oak Park residents to vote yes for the District 97 referendum on April 5. We see firsthand the gifts of the talented young musicians, actors, athletes and artists at OPRF. These students all have a passion for their areas of interest that expands their horizons, helps them grow as people and teaches them teamwork and leadership. This passion didn't happen overnight — we believe their first exposure to art, music, drama and sports in elementary and middle schools was a fundamental ingredient to their current achievement levels.
If the referendum does not pass, the places where many of these students were first exposed to the performing and fine arts, to theater and to organized sports will be eliminated. If that happens, students will be denied the chance to attain their full potential, but our community will lose as well. Our children are our future, and we need to invest what is necessary to give each child the opportunities at an early age to discover and develop their unique talents.
Susan and Robert Parks, Beth and John Messina, Barbara and Charlie Mayer, Cristy and Keith Harris, Kathy and Monte Lewis, Lynda and Paul Shadrake, Julia and Derek Inksetter