Friday, December 10, 2004

Letter to Mayor Gonzales and Councillor Chirco

Subject: Young People's Theater Company
Date: December 10, 2004 11:04:07 AM PST

Dear Mayor Gonzales,

I am writing to you to find out if you are aware of the amazing Theater Program in San Jose run by Carole Ferris-Greer and the YPT staff at Kirk Community Center on Foxworthy Avenue.

This program is a jewel in the community, working with young people from all over San Jose. The quality of the productions is amazing. The dedication and commitment of the staff to the children of this community is exemplary and an inspiration to us all.

The program has raised and donated over $6000 for Breast Cancer charities and also through fund raising efforts has donated over 100,000 cans of food to the City Team Ministries and The Sacred Heart Community.

As a member of this community and the newly re-activated District 9 Community Advisory Board, I would like to see the Theater Program including Carole Ferris-Greer and her staff receive an award for "Outstanding Contribution to Community". The program has been running for twenty two years. I would like this award to be presented in Chambers in January. City recognition for this program is long overdue.
I have enclosed a recent letter I wrote in support of the program.

Please respond to my request at your earliest convenience.


Rosie Marks

September 20th 2004

Dear Carole, (Cassie, Kelly,Donna, Julia, Matt, Kenny and Jack)

When I received the survey I realised how long it has been since I’d actually taken the time to write and thank you and the YPT team for all your hard work.

There have been many occasions when I have been so impressed by your dedication to the program and to the children. You take the time to really get to know the children and are sensitive to not only their needs but also to the needs of the families involved.

We are entering our third year with YPT and over the years we have experienced nothing but joy and happiness with the program. I have seen my children grow and flourish under your kind, caring and watchful gaze. I have seen what you teach them extend to their everyday lives. Through your program they have become more confident and self reliant. They adore you. I feel that Andrew and Christopher are so privileged to have you and your team in their lives, as a role models and mentors. We as a family are enriched by knowing you. You are an inspiration.

Every production or boot camp we have participated in has been been hugely successful. We love to return to YPT, as we know that we will continue to nurture our friendships within the community. So many families come back season after season to work together on the new production. What a tribute that is to you Carole. The Theater program at Kirk is one of the few things I have been involved in which genuinely nurtures community spirit. The support the program receives on Parent Preview Nights reflects the commitment of the participants not only to the program but to you and your team.

It is astonishing to me that in these times you have managed to keep together and motivate such a truly wonderful group of people in the YPT team. There have been no staff changes in the time we have been part of YPT. Thank you for providing continuity. It is wonderful to see the older members come back to help with the younger ones at Boot Camps.

It is your drive, imagination, kindness and charisma which enables the community to come together to enjoy the successes of each event.
I never fail to be impressed by the professionalism of every production. Your passion for your work shines through every production The children’s faces are a picture to behold.

I would also like to mention how wonderful the new seating is in the main Theater. I know how hard you all worked in the summer to make the necessary changes. The outside courtyard is also very attractive and adds to the ambiance of the program, particularly in the summer.

Only people who work with children and parents understand the real demands of the job. As a teacher myself, I have nothing but admiration for you.

You and your team have an unenviable task ahead to maintain the very high standards you set yourselves. The pressure increases as high standards are also set as a result of participants high expectations. Keeping morale high must be challenging in the face of actual or threatened budget cuts.

I know you do not like to draw any attention to yourself or receive personal praise but I would love to forward this letter to Donna Lovell at the Mercury News (Editor of local news) and Judy Chirco to let them know what an outstanding job you are doing for the children and the youth in our community. Your work and dedication is very much appreciated.

I hope the fall production of Peter Pan Jr. brings excitement, joy and success for all. May you receive all the support you need to continue to work your magic.

yours sincerely,

Rosie Marks