Nurturing family, community, and self

I agree with Curtis J. Sitomer's ``Curbing violence may start in family, community'' [May 30]. The problem lies in the amount of time the ``family'' spends together. I think citizens must demonstrate their concern for discouraging lawless behavior by demanding that social institutions change their present attitudes and policies toward work and family. The 40-hour week for both parents must cease. Although curbing violence may start in family and community atmospheres, it must be extended to work, schools, and all social institutions. C. M. LaFia San Francisco

As a busy mother, teacher, dancer, volunteer, and wife, I have wondered why I'm drawn to my sewing room for hours on end. I haven't the time for it. I don't sew to save money. The articles on sewing, Home Forum May 20th, revealed the reasons for my compulsion. ``Each time I touch a piece of fabric, magic occurs. Not just a dress or curtain, but a new me.'' [Rose Marie Dunphy's ``Why I sew'']. All four articles are mounted on the wall next to where I sit and sew and discover my soul. Betsie Andrews Hutchinson, Kan.

Thank you for your interesting section on ``Summer Reading'' for the very young child [May 31]. I'd like to mention one other book, in addition to Jim Trelease's ``The Reading Aloud Handbook,'' which is an excellent guide for parents of young children wanting advice on literature for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers -- ``Babies Need Books,'' by Dorothy Butler. A good friend recommended the book to me and it has been one of the most valuable ``parenting tools'' I've found. Elizabeth Ciner Northfield, Minn. Comparing the list May 30 of ``What others are reading'' to the list of ``Other cultures'' lends credence to my argument that summer reading lists for 12- to 18-year-olds is material far above the level of those readers, unless they skipped ahead to college before high school.

The list contains some of the most heady and worthwhile material for any reader's consideration, but let's first develop some background before we leap into ``the Bear'' with its seven-page sentences, or the limitless biblical allusions to be unwound in Melville's ``Moby Dick.''

Why not offer: ``One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,'' ``1984,'' or anything more relevant to the reader's generation and level of comprehension? Why offer material that will discourage the eager reader? Russell D. Evans Philadelphia, Pa.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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