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Clay was asked by then-Gov. Otis Bowen to negotiate a hostage situation at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City in 1973. The siege ended after the inmates met with Clay.

He had many other accomplishments, too many to list here, and had a genuine passion for his city.

It’s understandable that members of the Indiana General Assembly, not just Gary officials, would want to honor Clay.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 24, authored by state Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, is cosponsored by Reps. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, and Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso. It urges the Indiana Department of Transportation to rename Fifth Avenue, or U.S. 20, in honor of Clay.

But Gary already has a Clay Street — named for a different Clay — so there’s a strong potential for confusion if Fifth Avenue is actually renamed for the late mayor.

But perhaps another tribute to Clay is in order. Rename a building for him, just as the Lake County Courthouse in Gary was named for Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert D. Rucker. Or erect a statue of him, paid for by a benefactor rather than limited city funds. Or find some other way to honor his memory.

Just don’t create confusion by giving Gary another Clay street.

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Journal & Courier, Lafayette. Feb. 21, 2014.

State can’t put off pre-K education

Coming off the initial good reports about Read to Succeed, a project that put volunteers into Greater Lafayette schools weekly to help kids meet state goals for reading by third grade, organizers looked even earlier in a student’s life.

By early 2013, the collaboration of Greater Lafayette Commerce, United Way of Greater Lafayette and the three largest school districts in Tippecanoe County had put together a four-page handbook: “Things Your Child Should be Exposed to Prior to Kindergarten.”

Among the expectations that would put kids - and their teachers - in the best position were being able to recite the alphabet, identify colors and shapes, to hold a pencil or crayon, and to sit through a story being read to them. The handbook also covered of necessary social skills.

In other words, the goal was to bring kids who were not absolute beginners when they hit the kindergarten classroom. Educators agree that the more prepared students are in kindergarten, the better off they are for the rest of their school days.

The question organizers faced - and still face, as they mull this part of the community learning project - is how to get those expectations to kids, short of having a formal and universal preschool program.

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