Cuts Endanger Tommie's Program
For Tommie, his team and their parents, the news is devastating. Here is an U.S. National award-winning team who is now prevented from travelling!
With the new budget constraints, the prognosis for this team is disastrously simple; without a travel budget there is no competition and without competition there is no program for the kids. If they don't travel within their own state and build up their rankings, they won't be able to compete nationally because they won't be ranked high enough.
"They deserve a corporate sponsor. I'm sure Tommie wouldn't mind if they wore an embroidered Mac apple on their suit pockets as they walk across a national stage," she grins. "They need an angel that believes in them as much as NIKE believes in Tiger Woods. Funding would bring relief to Tommie and would buy 240 eager kids a reason to continue their pursuit of a college degree."
Recently, Tommie and three students were performing and speaking at UCLA to raise money for the team. He mentioned the all-inclusive figure of $70,000 for travel and fees. This figure includes in and out of the state of California. Until now, the District paid ($35,000) for state travel, and the team raised monies to as many out-of-state competitions as they could. In past years, the kids traveled extensively throughout the state of California, to Chicago, Arizona, Texas, Atlanta and North Carolina (where the nationals were held) and many other places.
Now they are left with an extraordinary program that teaches competitive speech, but they have no way to get to the competitions. It's like asking the UCLA football coach to have a winning national team, but they can't travel.
As to what they are doing to fight it, they are stunned by this news and Tommie is mapping out his plans right now. In past years, as you see in the film, they have had to go back and back in front of the school board to fight for funds. The kids speak at various Silicon Valley corporate events for which they are paid a stipend, and this money goes into the travel fund.
Eleven Years of Success
The Logan Forensics Program reaches beyond competitive success. The overall academic performance of team members is a constant priority. The team makes available academic tutoring for all of its members, and students must maintain a satisfactory grade point average to continue to participate in team activities.
Team members maintain a 3.1 GPA, and have won numerous academic awards and a remarkable 99% of the seniors go on to colleges and four-year universities. Many of these students have been able to secure forensics-related college scholarships from community service organizations. A program like this one deserves support.
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