Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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Kings Valley Charter School sixth-grader Amanda Larios has created an online petition called "Save Our School" in an effort to raise support and awareness for the school over a possible shutdown by the Philomath School District. To date, the effort has garnered support from 208 signers.
September 04, 2012
KINGS VALLEY -- Amanda Larios said she hasn't studied much in the way of politics in her social studies classes at Kings Valley Charter School yet. But the 11-year-old from Monmouth has recently gotten a taste of community activism.
Earlier this summer, the Philomath School District sent a letter threatening to close the school by Sept. 28 because of alleged charter violations. That announcement has had families and students at the school on edge over the possibility of a KVCS shut down.
That prompted Amanda to start an online petition on Aug. 24, asking Philomath School District officials to rescind its termination notice. She's collected 208 signatures to date.
"If they did close, I would be pretty upset," said Amanda, who's going into sixth grade. "I would miss my teachers, who are really nice, and my friends because a lot of them live in Philomath."
Amanda said she learned about the school's problem from her mother, Theresa. She had originally considered writing a letter to the Philomath School Board, but wanted to get her friends involved in the effort.
Theresa Larios said the two of them researched the PSD/KVCS drama on the Internet, discovered the change.org site, and launched the "Save Our School" drive. Many of the responses have been from students themselves professing their love for the school. A few supporters live as far away as Colorado and Florida.
"It's been really heartwarming to see how much the school means to other people," Theresa said. "We've only been there for two years and we know how much it means to us."
Theresa has traditionally home taught all of her kids, but decided to enroll Amanda at KVCS after reading a newspaper article about outdoor ecology lessons children there were doing.
"Amanda is really into science and wants to be a veterinarian," Theresa said. "That was something I couldn't give her at home, those hands-on activities."
Amanda, who's looking forward to pre-algebra classes this fall and biology once she gets into middle school, said she'll present her signatures to the PSD school board at one of its meetings once she reaches 200.
"I'm not really scared about it," Amanda said. "A lot of people, myself included, say the school is one big family. And if it closes, it would break up our family."
To check out the KVCS "Save Our School Petition," go to www.change.org/petitions/save-our-school-2.