I am a grandparent, but I have no children, grandchildren or relatives for that matter in the Seaside School District.

I am, however, a volunteer at Gearhart Grade School. My husband and I have been tutoring K-3 graders for seven years.

We are there about one or two hours a week, depending on the kids schedules. These children are our future. The teachers are the guides to their futures.

I am writing to encourage everyone to vote for our future. When you vote for Ballot Measure 4-152, the local option levy for Seaside School District, you will not be voting in a new tax. You will be voting for continuing a levy that we are paying for right now. You will be renewing the current levy that expires June 30, 2011.

Voting yes will not be an additional or a new tax. My husband and I have watched first-hand how our school district has had to cut aides for classrooms, double up classes on occasion and essentially juggle teachers and students to work within their current budget, which in funding dollars is less that it was five years ago.

Licensed teaching positions have been reduced from 107.5 to 88 teaching positions overall and administrative positions from 12 to nine.

Our children cannot afford further reductions in their educational system. And, we should not require that action to be taken by not supporting this levy

To put this request in perspective, if you own a $300,000 home, you will only pay 42 cents per day. Think how many children you can help for such a small amount. Think of what you spend on non-essential items that exceed four dimes and two pennies each day.

Since you have taken the time to read this letter, give some time to your future...volunteer.

You don't have to be a retired teacher, because we surely are not. My husband and I are humbled to know that we can do most of the third grade math now.

Your school district is amazing and is filled with hard-working teachers and bright children.

Don't dim their future, but keep it glowing. I urge all of you to vote. Please vote yes for kids.

Karen Shields