I refer to the June special issue of “Breaking Down Barriers.” It obviously achieves its goal of helping to build bridges to greater understanding of Mennonite culture. I note the professional contributions from various reporters and editors from around southern Alberta; I commend them for their accurate and detailed work.
I also appreciate the student and teacher input from various school jurisdictions.
Besides the newspapers’ excellence in reporting there are other aspects of the articles that need commendation. I was struck with the respect that schools, districts, principals, teachers, parents and related education programs such as Adult Learning and ESL have shown to the individualized belief system and cultural traditions of the Mennonite community. Neither can one miss the positive approach that the M.D. of Taber and other local municipalities have shown in their relationships with our Mennonite neighbours. Nor can the reader escape the creative and original ways in which the school and municipal systems have adapted their programs and approaches to the unique needs of this special culture and society. The entire issue is soaked with positive outpourings from local government, educators, businesses and our local MLAs. All of this is in refreshing contrast to the mostly negative things we hear and learn about in the daily news.
I heartily applaud all that is being done to help the Mennonite community. Integrating into a new society, learning its ways and meeting the challenges of language, education and socialization are all daunting tasks. With the work ethic that they bring to our country and province, it’s apparent they will succeed in all of these challenges.
Thank you newspapers for your gilded efforts in producing such a worthwhile special project issue.