Cookies for troops

On April 9, Tricounty Blue Star Mothers mailed 83 boxes weighing 2,322 pounds filled with Girl Scout Cookies and toiletries to our troops in Afghanistan, in Korea and on the USS Dwight D Eisenhower. The “thank you” letters and emails have been arriving. One staff sergeant said, “When I opened that big box of cookies my unit’s eyes lit up.” Another said, “We are halfway through a 12-month deployment. You have no idea how much receiving these cookies have done for morale.”

None of this would have been possible without everyone in the Charleston area who bought an extra box of cookies to send to our troops, and people at Deer Park Baptist Church and the Submarine School who assisted us.

Tricounty Blue Star Mothers is a non-profit organization, and we depend on donations so that we can support our troops overseas as well as our veterans here at home.

We will be having a fund-raising event Aug. 24 at American Legion Post 166 in Goose Creek to raise money for Operation Christmas Stocking 2013.

Alice Lang

Tricounty Blue Star

Mothers and Families

Egret Creek Court

Hanahan

Jobs outlook

An April 12 editorial from the Spokane Spokesman-Review newspaper compared a month’s worth of press releases from the Washington state and South Carolina departments of commerce.

Six postings from the Washington Commerce Department projected a net gain of zero jobs.

For that same period, six postings from South Carolina, projected a net gain of 1,161 jobs, and that did not include the Boeing announcement of an additional 2,000 jobs.

The editorial noted that domestic and foreign manufacturing continues to locate in the South in part because of incentives and the large, non-union labor force.

There are always plenty of issues for citizens, politicians, interest groups and, for that matter, newspaper columnists and editorial writers to gripe about in South Carolina.

Perhaps it is also important that we applaud efforts by the state’s leaders over the past several years to bring economic development (read jobs) to the state.

Susan L. Gragan

St. Julien Drive

Eutawville

Clear blessings

I have read a number of opinions in The Post and Courier regarding the existence of God and heaven and hell. One man even opined that if there is no heaven, a lot of church-goers have wasted a lot of Sunday mornings.

For myself, a church-going Baptist believer, I found the following information in the February/March 2013 issue of the AARP Magazine to be very interesting: “While we’re not sure whether church-going makes you happy or whether happy people tend to be religious, research shows that people who belong to a faith-based community — regardless of religion — and attend services more than once a week live as many as seven years longer than people who don’t. Plus church-goers are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse, are satisfied with less money and have less stress and a built-in social network.”

I believe this. My church has a large number of 70- and 80-year-olds who attend regularly. We even have a 101-year-old lady who shows up on most Sunday mornings.

Wouldn’t you like to live seven years longer?

Harry S. Gray Jr.

Barrington Lane

Charleston

Helping others

After I retired several years ago, I went to R.D. Schroeder Middle School in Hollywood and volunteered to help in sixth grade math. After being introduced in each class, I mentioned that I had flunked mid-semester math but with a little help became a math major in school.

This was about seven years ago. Imagine how I felt last month when a young lady, baby in arms and husband in tow, asked if I was that helper. She had been in my math classes at Schroeder, and she thanked me for my help.

Now that’s the joy of making a difference in a person’s life. I now live in the city and plan on returning to the schools. After 35 years as a pharmacist, I now get my fulfilment in life. Volunteer.

Marshall Heiden

Highway 162

Hollywood

Troubling number

I was perplexed at how to feel about the Academic Magnet High School’s recent ranking in US News & World Report. As a taxpayer, I think it is wonderful that a Charleston County public school gets positive national recognition. Yet I cannot believe only 78 percent of students taking Advanced Placement exams passed.

To apply the grading rubric I was subjected to years ago, 78 percent equals a C-plus, consistently defined as average. In addition, just passing the AP is not enough to qualify a student for college credit. A score of three equals passing. (Congratulations, but colleges will make you take the material again.) A five is considered by almost every college to be worthy of credit.

It would be edifying to know the percentage of students who scored a four or five, thereby justifying their participation in AP classes. It would also render a more accurate picture of Academic Magnet’s “same great program.”

Even more eyebrow-raising when taken in this context: If this is the best the 10th ranked school can do, what does that say about the ability of our public schools on a national level to educate young people?

Derek Sessions

Ashley Hall Road

Charleston

Just say no thanks

To all so-called singers, entertainers, divas and musicians: If you cannot sing our national anthem, please don’t.

John G. Misoyianis

Cork Road

Charleston