Sabato money's for kids

A point of clarification for your readers: In a letter to the editor last week ["Sabato's self-serving," April 7], Robert Butler of Albemarle criticized Larry Sabato's million-dollar gift to the University, claiming that the gift would be used "for the renovation of a structure to be used by... Larry Sabato and the UVA Center for Politics."

Sabato is not paid by the Center for Politics, and his gift was not designated for the renovation of any building or facility.

Instead, Larry designated his entire gift toward endowing the civic education programs of the Center for Politics, and particularly our Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI). The Youth Leadership Initiative is a K-12 student civic education program that teaches young people how to actively engage in the American electoral process. YLI started here in Charlottesville and Albemarle County in 1998 with a handful of local teachers who believed that it was important to engage young people in the civic affairs of our state and nation.

What an example they set! Today thousands of local students and teachers still participate in YLI, and they are joined by 16,000 other participating teachers and more than a million students from all across Virginia and around the nation.

While the YLI program is offered at no charge to schools, these resources are not free. Like most other public service programs offered by the University, we rely on philanthropic support in order to continue to deliver the Youth Leadership Initiative to schools.

For the thousands of teachers and millions of students who participate in the Youth Leadership Initiative, the staff of the Center for Politics is grateful to Larry Sabato for his contribution and for his efforts at encouraging others to support the education of future generations of Americans.

Ken Stroupe
Chief of Staff, UVA Center for Politics