It began with a chorus of frogs heralding the arrival of spring, a profusion of hardy flowering bulbs, followed by blossoming fruit trees – thick with pollen – awaiting bees to do their part. Silence is broken by the sweet sound of hungry hatchlings as one or the other parent lands at the nest with more food. Within a month, fully feathered youngsters emerge–not always eager to leave after looking over the edge. One by one, they’re off and flying solo.
It’s often hard to watch as we wince at the near misses, false starts and narrow escapes from dangers they never saw coming.
With Memorial Day traditions behind us, we look ahead to the commencement ceremony for seniors graduating from Peninsula High School Class of 2019. It’s a great time to pause and reflect.
As a community we have much to be proud of whenever we come together for common good. These graduates are a reflection of a whole community and Peninsula schools are graduating students worthy of distinction and celebration.
Numerous local organizations – clubs, guilds, foundations, businesses, scholarship trusts and individuals – altogether awarded nearly $250,000 in scholarships to graduating PHS seniors through the successful coordination of the Peninsula Hawks Scholarship Fund that helps students connect with local organizations with scholarship money to award. Whether a student’s path to success is by attending university, community college, a service academy, trade or vocational school––the community supports students’ futures with scholarships.
Countless local volunteers make the commitment to show up, on-time weekly, as reading and math mentors to support young students. Others volunteer to serve on PTA committees, as coaches, scout masters, chaperones or team parents. Whole communities turn out to organize and support kid-oriented events throughout the years, from art classes to trout pond fishing derbies, craft nights, parades, petting zoos, puppet shows, ice cream socials, mud races; it’s a dizzying list of experiences which enrich the lives of growing children from pre-school and beyond high school graduation.
Organizations entirely devoted to children’s health and well-being ensure access to resources and enrichment through the power of community, like Communities in Schools of Peninsula, Children’s Home Society of Washington, Food Backpacks 4 Kids and the Red Barn Youth Center.
Especially rewarding is seeing these students make their way in the world, returning home to the life they love here, to continue this cycle by enriching and strengthening our community with their acquired knowledge and passion to give back. One of many such success stories appears in this issue.
To our high school graduates, parents and educators, congratulations to all. Your community encourages you to do great things.
When community leaders envisioned the future of Key Pen Parks they focused on desired outcomes. What do we want for our children and grandchildren? How can we preserve and maintain places accessible to everyone in the community? How can we enhance those spaces to ensure a wide variety of outdoor enjoyment for people of all ages? How do we preserve and protect access to rich woodlands, meandering trails through maple hollows, classic Puget Sound beaches, ball fields, playgrounds, picnic spots? How can we create access to open spaces while enhancing them to meet the specific needs of hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders?
The recent Key Pen Parks Appreciation Day saw volunteers of all ages – individuals, families and groups, all friends of the parks – showed up with gloves, shovels, rakes and pruners to demonstrate their personal commitment and pride in our park system.
Dreamers, planners, builders, organizers, teachers, artists, makers and the hands of many doers, intent on achieving a common goal, deliver energy and a commitment to make things better. We are rich with interesting talents, expertise and a willingness to share. To help meet those goals for quality spaces to learn and play, it’s taken the time and energy of countless volunteers working together for many years. Building is part of the equation but nurturing and maintaining is just as vital.
Contributing to the resilience and enjoyment of our community is something that happens with every nod, wave and smile. We see familiar faces as we go about our days, it takes such a small amount of effort, but the rewards of acknowledging each other at the post office, the library or simply out and about goes a long way. Be proud of who you are and what you contribute to making life good here.
UNDERWRITTEN BY NEWSMATCH/MIAMI FOUNDATION, THE ANGEL GUILD, ROTARY CLUB OF GIG HARBOR, ADVERTISERS, DONORS AND PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT LOCAL, INDEPENDENT NONPROFIT NEWS