Forum, Feb. 23: CCBA is committed to being inclusive for all families

Friday, February 22, 2019
CCBA is committed to being inclusive for all families

The Valley News recently carried an article regarding the father-daughter dance at the Carter Community Building Association (“Mother calls dance tradition exclusionary,” Feb. 12). As the executive director of the CCBA, I felt it important to communicate to the community our position on the event and how we plan to move forward.

The father-daughter dance is an event we have sponsored for 20 years and is something hundreds of people in our community look forward to each year. The CCBA also sponsors numerous other events throughout the year, such as a mother-son dance, a family festival, an Easter egg hunt, a touch-a-truck event, a winter festival, and many more.

While some of these events are designed to provide specific bonding opportunities, such as the father-daughter and mother-son dances, they do not take away from the general inclusivity displayed by the CCBA.

Holding an event such as the father-daughter dance does not celebrate or promote one inter-family relationship over another. It merely recognizes one of many such important relationships that exist and provides a time to celebrate that special connection in a safe and friendly community setting.

We understand the world is constantly changing and the CCBA board of trustees and staff constantly assess our policies and procedures to reflect these changes. While we evolve as an organization, we remain dedicated to our mission as a 100-year-old nonprofit community recreation organization that welcomes all people, especially youth, to opportunities for enjoying and enriching their lives.

As in the past, we look forward to providing a wide variety of opportunities and events that celebrate and support our mission and youth development within our community.



CCBA must change with changing times

I appreciate the email from the Carter Community Building Association executive director and board of trustees clarifying and outlining the response to the recent coverage of the father-daughter dance in the Valley News (“Mother calls dance tradition exclusionary,” Feb. 12).

I have been a member of the CCBA for many years, but more important, I have been a middle school educator for 31 years.

In this time, many traditions and traditional ways of acknowledging students, their gender identity and their family units have changed. I have participated in hours of education and training in how to be sensitive and inclusive of students who identify differently than their assigned gender at birth. I have worked with many families who have two parents of the same gender, parents who are non-binary and families that are blended from multiple situations and scenarios.

As much as I appreciate the opportunities that the father-daughter dance provides, I take exception that the CCBA will continue this “tradition.” Any traditional activity that deliberately or inadvertently discriminates by excluding a specific gender should no longer be promoted in our society or supported by a community organization.

The CCBA should simply support activities that promote family unity, understanding and acceptance of differences in gender identification and the different types of family units.

I have come to realize that traditions and traditional events are missed by those who have participated in them in the past, not by those who haven’t been able to based on who they are and how they identify themselves.

It’s time for the CCBA to move beyond this event and become more tuned in to our changing times.



Father-daughter dance event is a wonderful tradition

I have read your article regarding the Valentine’s Day father-daughter dance at the Carter Community Building Association (“Mother calls dance tradition exclusionary,” Feb. 12).

I have been attending this dance for more than 15 years with my daughters (26 and 16) and granddaughter (age 6). It is an activity that they look forward to every year and we have the pictures to remember them by.

My fiancée has gone with me on many occasions, taken pictures and left to hang out downstairs along with all the other mothers.

I find it tragic that a traditional event that has been so well-attended and supported in the community for so many years may end due to one person’s opinion. While one mom there may not have been disruptive, a room full of moms may take the attention from where it is supposed to be, which is the daughters, granddaughters, nieces, etc.

Let the girls have their fun night with their dads. For years, hundreds if not thousands of both young and older girls have attended this dance and made wonderful memories.

I know we have.

There are events that the CCBA does offer for the whole family — festival events, movie nights and other dances. Leave the father-daughter dance alone and let the girls have their fun.



Norwich forum now set for Tuesday

The rescheduled forum for candidates running for the Norwich Selectboard will be held in the Training Room of the Norwich Police Station on Tuesday, from 7-8:30 p.m. Doug Wilberding and John Langhus are running for the two-year seat and Linda Cook and Roger Arnold are running for the three-year seat.

This forum provides a way for candidates to present their own statements and to answer questions from the audience.

Please come to this meeting, sponsored by the Norwich Women’s Club, and meet this year’s candidates.



Ignoring a solution to homelessness

America is not great. We have more than 200,000 homeless people. They are us — Americans — many of them veterans, many children.

I have a plan to end it, at no cost. I have written to my senators in Washington. They do not reply.