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Thumbs column

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In this season of "thanks" and "giving," Hot Springs residents have much for which to be grateful, considering the resort area's philanthropic spirit and vision for the future.

On that note, we start off today's column with a big "Thumbs-up" to the Thursday, Nov. 1, open house during which Garland County Historical Society members introduced the public to its recently completed archives and facility expansion.

GCHS volunteers welcomed guests and led tours of the building that now has 1,500 more square feet of space that will be used to carefully document and preserve vital historical records and photographs.

On behalf of GCHS, Liz Robbins, executive director, expressed the organization's thanks to the groups and individuals whose generosity ensured the success of the "Make Room for History" project.

Here is a "Thumbs-up" to an upcoming new pilot program at Mid-America Science Museum that will give Hot Springs School District students an opportunity to participate in Science After School from 3:30-6 p.m. weekdays, until the end of the year.

Initially, only 107 HSSD students in kindergarten through sixth grade will be able to take part in the program, that begins Jan. 7, but according to the Nov. 1 news story in The Sentinel-Record, adjustments will be made so the after-school science learning program will be available to all Garland County students for the 2019-20 academic year.

Kudos to Stephanie Nehus, HSSD superintendent and MASM Education Committee member, and Jeremy Mackey, MASM education director, and the museum staff for coordinating this effort.

Meanwhile, another well deserved "Thumbs-up" goes to the Lakeside School District for presenting a recent program aimed at challenging students to initiate a "chain reaction of kindness." Fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders at the school took part in Rachel's Challenge, named for Rachel Scott, the first victim of the 1999 Columbine High School shootings.

Speaker J.B. Braden, who represents Rachel's Challenge, talked to students about "replacing acts of violence, bullying and negativity with respect, kindness and compassion."

And, Angie Ralph, school counselor, selected several students to participate in Friends of Rachel, a club that will continue acts of kindness throughout the school year.

Conversely, "Thumbs-down" to the persons who may be miffed about a retail business policy and take out their displeasure on a clerk who is only doing his or her job and following the rules set out by those in charge.

This writer witnessed just such an encounter last weekend and was impressed by how patiently and calmly the business employee dealt with this unhappy customer.

Should anyone else find themselves in like circumstances, it might help to recall this statement from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, "Don't mistake politeness for lack of strength." ("Beautifully Said: Quotes by Remarkable Women and Girls Designed To Make You Think.")

On the other hand, a Spa City resident, who admits to her dismay about caustic rhetoric and the lack of civility seemingly so prevalent in our society, has a "Thumbs-up" for a recent "feel good moment."

"One afternoon last week, I was driving down Richard Street, enjoying the sunshine, the quiet, and a touch of fall colors in the trees," she said. "Something else caught my eye and I glimpsed over to see a woman and a small child sitting at a round table on the front porch of a house. I believe there were dishes on the table so I thought they might be having a tea party.

"I had to smile because this scenario brought back some happy memories of my own."

The Thumbs Column appears in The Sentinel-Record the first and third. Wednesday of each month. The newspaper welcomes readers' comments and suggestions, which should be submitted with a name, telephone number and home address. for verification and contact purposes. This information is kept confidential.

Editorial on 11/07/2018

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