Insurance agent helping with cost of C-R driver's ed


By Jim Poole

Cobleskill-Richmondville's resurrected driver's education program got a big boost last week.
Donna Lavigne of the Donna Lavigne Insurance Agency offered to donate $5,000 so more students could take the class.
The school board brought back driver's ed--eliminated in budget cuts several years ago--in early August.
Up to 32 students could take the course, with C-R and student's families splitting the $330 per-student cost, $165 each. For 32 students, the cost to C-R would be $5,280.
Ms. Lavigne read the story in the August 7 Times-Journal.
"I saw 32 kids. . .well, that's not enough," Ms. Lavigne said Friday. "I told my husband Tom, 'I could write a check for $5,000.'
"He said, 'Why don't you?' " Ms. Lavigne laughed.
She's asking C-R to divide her $5,000. Half would allow the district to offer driver's ed to 16 more students.
The other $2,500 is intended for families that can't afford the $165.
"That's for kids who wouldn't be able to pay for it," Ms. Lavigne said. "But I think they should pay something--$25 or $50--so they have an investment in it."
Ms. Lavigne said she wanted to help a community that's supported her well, her "way to give back."
More importantly, "this is about keeping kids alive," she said. "Driver's ed will help them immediately and the rest of their lives."
The school accepted Ms. Lavigne's offer last Monday night.
"She is really generous," C-R Superintendent Lynn Macan said. "Donna believes that giving back is the right thing for students and the community. She's right."
Dr. Macan said C-R could accommodate the extra driver's ed students. The class will be offered before and after school and possibly into the summer, she said.