There have been many reasons for hope regarding the village of Fredonia and city of Dunkirk working together in recent years.
First, there was a plan for the village to purchase water from the city. Though not highly touted, it has been used - almost secretly by the village in the recent summer - when there is a drought.
Next, there was a proposed shared police facility. That failed.
Now, the schools are working together on a prekindergarten program at Wheelock school with the assistance of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services. A good thing? Absolutely.
But we must speak frankly here. All too often when the two entities of Dunkirk and Fredonia try to do something as a team, something gets in the way. We are not sure if it is pride or fear, but Fredonia has some reason why it won't work.
Take water, for instance. Some residents in Fredonia actually believe their water tastes better than what is produced in Dunkirk. At no time last summer did residents walk around Fredonia Commons saying, "There's something different about this stuff."
Now with the joining of a prekindergarten program at Wheelock school, above - spearheaded by Dunkirk schools Superintendent Gary Cerne and Fredonia schools Superintendent Paul DiFonzo, there may already be some sentiment that the children of both communities may not get along.
We already know that to be false.
Children in this region have participated together in activities for years even though they do not attend the same schools. Organizationally, they play Little League together. On the ice, students from throughout the area combine to form the Northern Chautauqua County Youth Hockey Association. On the fields, children of all ages and areas participate in the North Chautauqua Soccer Association. In dance, students from neighboring communities come together for performances and practices.
So why not the schools?
In social settings, many of the youth do not care where each other lives, they only want to get along. Unfortunately, far too often, adults can be the ones who are most childish about the borders and identities.