Every day at the eight Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia/Flagler Counties, I see the impact programs like ours can have on the lives of the young people we serve. The difference a caring mentor can make. The difference a healthy meal can make. The difference academic assistance, career exploration and community service programs can make. The difference a community can make when it prioritizes our kids.

[READ MORE: Boys & Girls Clubs visit partner businesses]

When leaders and our community invest in out-of-school time programs, they’re strengthening kids, families and communities nationwide. As valued voices in Volusia and Flagler counties our Boys & Girls Clubs utilize public-private and community partnerships to set kids and teens on the path to great futures.

Our young people are the promise of tomorrow, our future leaders and innovators of our economy. Prioritizing and investing in after school time not only leads to better outcomes for our kids, but also to a healthier, safer and more prosperous nation. Please support your local Boys & Girls Club today!

Joe Sullivan, DeLand

Sullivan is Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia/Flagler Counties.

Rules have changed

As was mentioned in the article February 14, “Four arrested in Mainland High scare,” “we live in a different world now. The days of doing this type of stuff — is long gone.” We go back to 1941 when both of us graduated from Mainland and nobody would think nothing of it and probably laugh, as stated. Not so much now.

They had a fast-acting police presence and staff working to get panic and confusion calmed down and back to normal. We are thankful for the law enforcement support and that no shots were fired. No guns were found on campus and the kids with firecrackers face misdemeanor charges of disruption of a school function and a felony of bringing an explosive device into school property.

It is a shame four to five students can make a situation where 1,800-plus felt unsafe and had their education interrupted. We hope it will not happen anyplace again.

Ernest & Marvena Beasley

Pierson Florida

Electrify debates

How to improve TV political debates? Nobody listens to shouting matches. The answer is electronic.

I am sure an electrical engineer can create the following: An electric box on top of each podium that has three lights on it that can be seen by the audience and the candidate. Each box would have a green, yellow and red light for all to see. The lights would be timed and not controlled by anyone except the moderator to start a candidate’s answer. After a period of agreed time, the green light would go off and the yellow light would go on noting 15 seconds remaining after this 15-second time, the yellow light would turn off and the red light would appear and the candidate’s microphone would be turned off. The process would start again with the next question.

We will not be surprised how quickly the candidates adapt and can get to the point on answers.

Ed Dear, Palm Coast

A voter’s choice

Why the concern for no-party-affiliation voters getting the vote in a Florida (or any other state) primary?

They are not being denied the right to vote. They are reaping the fruits of their decision to either show their disdain for either Republicans or Democrats or to assert their purity of choice and clean political conscience. If you do not agree with the basic tenets of a party, that is your stance.

It is a volunteer action to not register for any party, including the Greens, the Libertarians, the Communists or Socialists. For whatever reason you hold – stay with it and feel good when you vote in the general election. You just do not receive a participation trophy for the primary, as you have opted out of the foundation for building a democracy. Why should the NPA have a “deus ex machina” influence in any party’s candidate?

Thinking logically, if there is no political party, how do minorities or the disaffected or the income challenged persons participate within? There would be only limited avenues for candidates to emerge; big money, media (on-air, social, Hollywood) favorites and military.

Non-Party-Affiliated can exist. All voters are “independent” voters , some just choose to be more active and join the registered party of their choice to become involved in the primary decision making and the results of their activity in the primary process is put up for judgement by all on Election Day.

Terry C. Waibel, Daytona Beach