Kudos to the Franklin County Humane Society Planned Pethood and Adoption Center for their new reading-to-pets program.

The July 4 event was not only cute but also an inventive way to help both children and homeless pets. By bringing children in to visit the shelter, it helps animals become comfortable around children and people in general.

The reading program aims to help children, especially those who have difficulty reading, to become comfortable reading aloud, because animals don’t judge the reader. Animals don’t care if a reader mispronounces a word, or what you are saying at all, generally. They are just happy for the company.

However, the program also may help children become accustomed to animals and teach them about animal rescue, if even in the smallest way. Hopefully, some of those kids will remember seeing those animals in need of homes and recall that when they are old enough to adopt pets of their own.

Kudos to the U.S. Women’s World Cup team for their recent victory.

Despite Megan Rapinoe’s national anthem protests and the surrounding bedlam, it is good to see the women’s team successful, as the game is about more than just one player. This group of amazing athletes excels. Moreover, here’s double kudos to them for fighting for gender equality while representing the nation. The players on the team are suing the U.S. Soccer Federation for equal pay, alleging the men’s U.S. soccer players make more money despite being less successful and generating less revenue. The cup victory should put an exclamation point on the lawsuit.

Kudos to the 40-plus residents/business owners who attended the Franklin County Planning Commission meeting Tuesday night to hear about the Ferrum Village Area Plan.

As noted in a June 28 editorial, partnerships amongst community members are important. That editorial focused on Rocky Mount, but the same principle applies, whether discussing Ferrum, Westlake, Boones Mill or other areas that want to prosper.

Politicians have a role. No one is trying to discredit them here, but community members must buy into and participate in order to make change happen. Business owners have to invest time and money into sprucing up their buildings and helping to draw people in. Unlike Boones Mill, which is located between Rocky Mount and Roanoke, Ferrum is just southwest of Rocky Mount, but a 45-minute drive to Martinsville and 40 minutes to Floyd.

We’re not saying it needs to be the next Blacksburg or Roanoke, but Ferrum could prosper to be a small town like Rocky Mount or Boones Mill.

Nevertheless, it all goes back to the people. One resident said at the meeting that these discussions have been going on for 10 years or more, but there has been no forward movement. These folks sounded like they are ready for some change, but they have to be the impetus behind the change.

The oft misquoted line in the movie “Field of Dreams” is applicable here: If you build it, they will come.

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