Each week in Moms Talk, our Moms Council takes your questions, gives advice and shares solutions.
Our conversation starts today with a broad topic, but a good one. This week, we asked the Moms Council: From a parent's perspective, what makes Reading a great place to raise kids? And what is one thing you would change if you could?
Here’s what they had to say:
Reading is such a great town! I was born and raised in Reading, so I may be a bit biased, but nonetheless, it is wonderful. I live AND work in Reading. Having gone through the schools I saw first hand how great the schools were. I played sports and took part in the drama program so I saw that aspect of the schools too. I stayed in Reading to raise my children here. I love the small town feel and the proximity to Boston and points north as well.
Although bad things do occasionally happen in town, I feel it is still very safe for my family. I also like the fact that the commuter rail stops in town which is convenient to take into sporting events and such. We have easy access to major highways so work commuting is easy. We have a town meeting form of government which affords more citizenry input. Reading has always been known as a "bedroom" community, and the fact that we are one of the few cities and towns around that is not divided by a major highway helps to keep our bedrooms snuggly with a true sense of community.
So get involved to keep this town wonderful.
When my husband and I couldn't sell the commercial building that homes The Chocolate Truffle in Reading, we had to make the tough choice of selling our home and moving a family of five into the apartment above the store. The consolation came with knowing I was moving my family to a town with an excellent school system in a tremendous and friendly community.
In 1979 my parents chose Reading for the school system, the land and the proximity to Boston and major highways. Ironically, the issues that were present then are still present today; the mindset that our town is "better then other communities" has trapped us in a slow-moving cycle detrimental to positive growth and change. It's interesting that elected officials and committee members talk about the tremendous improvement to downtown, when the downtown of my youth had a large variety of stores to shop for stationary, shoes and groceries.
Our downtown is about to get more apartments which equates to a larger strain on our services.
As a parent I'm concerned with my children and work at being the best parent who can guide them through life challenges and provide them with the best opportunities. Most every parent that I know, myself included, dedicates an exceptional amount of time to volunteering for their children in the schools, in sports and with activities. As a
parent and a business owner I also volunteer within the town because I have a vested interest. As a parent I want change within Town Leadership. I want leadership to understand and address that it doesn't matter how we compare to other towns, how do they cultivate an environment where the community will work together respectfully? I
want Town Leaders focused on how we become the best Reading and work effectively at attracting businesses with employees who take time to support our businesses generating revenue so that all parents can afford to live in the place that I think is the best place to raise children.