Letter: Susanne Kahler, Leesburg

Editor: I wholeheartedly agree with your editorial that there is more progress to make.

I was dismayed to learn that the Ashburn and Rust libraries are going back to curbside pickup and return after being open for a short time. Not because it inconvenienced me as a lot of my friends seemed to think. I have internet, I can research, request, download and read books and other materials on my devices. I can work from home. I am extremely fortunate that my kids are now grown.

Parents of low SES families may not even be able to afford WiFi. How can they access vital resources for employment, how can they enrich their child’s learning even if LCPS does give them all Chromebooks if they can’t connect to the internet? More than likely, those parent aren’t even aware this is happening as they are too busy trying to make ends meet. How are they going to transport their children to these libraries even if they are fortunate enough to win the childcare “lottery?”  What this ends up being is a publicly funded private childcare program for county employees.

I disagreed with the way the Board of Supervisors went about it. There was no coordination, no consideration. Too little, too late. Only two members answered my email, Koran Saines saying that while “the Board cannot provide universal childcare, we wanted to emphasize children in grades K-6 who are to young to stay at home alone, who are the children of workers who provide critical services … first responders, teachers and County employees and County residents whose kids are on the free or reduced lunch program…” 

I understand that childcare options are limited and I understand the stress caregivers are under, I was a single parent of two who worked fulltime for LCPS for 13 years in Library Media Services. Full time childcare in the summer months was $300 a week per child. I literally did not earn a cent for the three months of the year that I had to pay for full time care. The juggle, the struggle, is real and parents are scared. 

Phyllis Randall tells us “Every single person in the county benefits when a sheriff’s deputy or firefighter knows their kids are off in safe childcare.” What about the essential workers who are grocery store employees, delivery drivers, senior caregivers, custodians, transportation workers, childcare workers themselves or the displaced library workers who have children of their own? You don’t think they worry about their children? 

And lastly, if schools aren’t deemed safe enough to send back groups of children to, what makes supervisors think library spaces, which aren’t designed for large groups of children, are?

Susanne Kahler, Leesburg

2 thoughts on “Letter: Susanne Kahler, Leesburg

  • 2020-09-04 at 2:01 pm

    I wished the BoS actually cared, but they don’t. Phony Phyllis and her make-believe empathy need to be shown the door.

  • 2020-09-04 at 3:20 pm

    WiFi access is available in the parking lots of all county libraries. It is not necessary to enter a library to get WiFi access. In addition the county has numerous other library locations which continue to be available for people to physically access. For example their is another library within 6 miles of the Ashburn library.

    Also all county high schools have made WiFi internet access available in their parking lots. LCPS has also already distributed over 2500 mobile hotspots which come with paid for service to those who need them and are continuing to distribute them to those in need. Additionally Comcast is continuing to make their WiFi hotspots free for non-subscribers to use.

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