School districts, it’s Spring Break:Do you know where your students are?   9 comments

As I was standing outside talking to my neighbor the other day, I went into ‘old-school, back-in-the-day, grown-up from the neighborhood’ mode. Now I know some of you many not know what that means, so let me explain.

We were discussing our Homeowner’s Association, or lack thereof, when I spotted a boy (probably around 10 or 11) walking through a neighbor’s yard and throwing a ball against the house. Yes, I said throwing a ball against the house. I stopped my conversation with my neighbor and asked (here comes the ‘old-school, back-in-the-day, grown-up from the neighborhood’ mode):

“Excuse me. Do you live there?”

“No,” he replied.

“Then why are you walking through the yard and throwing a ball up against the house?”

“I wasn’t throwing it hard.”

After I picked-up my bottom lip, I said: “It doesn’t matter how hard you were throwing it. You don’t throw a ball against anyone’s house! And why are you walking through their yard?” I concluded my lecture about respecting the property of others and suggested that they all go do something constructive, like read a book. Couldn’t help it-the teacher in me tends to rear its ugly head every now and then. But I missed something really important that day: The kids really don’t have anything to do out here; here being the burbs without public transportation and an abundance of overpriced recreation and out-of-school programs. These things were expensive a few years ago so imagine the sacrifice now that many more people are either unemployed or underemployed. Let’s fact it: Kids have to be left at home unsupervised because the parents simply cannot take time off or afford one of the afore-mentioned programs.

But this is what gets me: Our kids attend school in the largest district in the state of Georgia, yet the district officials do not see a need to offer some form of programming during the breaks, especially summer. Or maybe they just don’t give a damn. Yeah, I think that’s more likely. After all, many of the surrounding schools are classified as Title I schools so there are extra funds available. What are they doing with those funds? They sure as hell aren’t providing enrichment programs for the kids who qualify. Those services are only available for kids in danger of failing a class or not passing the upcoming Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT). You would think that preparing kids for the test would be top priority for district officials. Oh wait….I forgot: They make teachers use instructional time for test-prep. My bad.

Any way, I will continue to work on grant proposals for this FREE summer program for the same kids I lectured a few days ago. Otherwise, they may end up cutting through my yard and throwing a ball against my house.

9 responses to “School districts, it’s Spring Break:Do you know where your students are?

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  1. Hey Monise,
    Great post. Although, I am just glad those kids were outside playing instead of watching television! However, point taken…and you KNOW that walking through the yard is nothing (we all did that as kids-kids don’t do it enough now-a-days) compared to what kind of real trouble they could get into with no real supervision.

    As you know, I am a single mom. I am ashamed to admit to the number of times I left my children home alone either because they were sick and I had to go to work or they were on vacation from school. The options that were affordable just didn’t exist. I was lucky because I could bring my children with me to work most of the time if I needed to. But most do not have that luxury.

    So kudos to you with what you are trying to create. I hope you receive so much funding and support that you are able to establish the best of the best programs for the children in the area to attend.

    • Thank you! My grandfather would read us the riot act if we walked on anyone’s grass! They could be in real trouble and that is why I have been working so hard to get this program/school started…they SHOULD have things to do that don’t cost an arm and a leg!

  2. I empathize with the fact that kids may lack engaging things to do. But that is a reason, and not an excuse for trespassing and disrespecting another’s property. Then again, what happened to creativity and imagination?

    • I agree but when you dont have the opportunity to express/explore your creativity, it goes stagnant. Kids do not have those opportunities in school because it has become a place where you focus on what’s on the test…

  3. Monise,

    My burb is the mirror image of yours, without even the expensive out-of-school activities nearby. A few of us have tried to put on activities for the kids here through our HOA, but often parents won’t even tell their kids what’s going on! We’re running out of ideas.

    I applaud you for putting your energy where your mouth is, and working to solve the problems you see. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Has the HOA made those things known to families? I think that is we market/promote things we shoudl be able to get a better response. I am thinking in terms of what my HOA has not done…I know they could do a better job at building community here! We will have to keep working at it but I realize that nothing can be done without money to support it…that’s the real challenge.

      • Past events have been announced in HOA meetings, blasted to the email list, signs posted when applicable… there are deeper issues at work. Someone mentioned a HOA training program to me at one point. I’m checking it out.

  4. i love what you have done here, i love it!

  5. I appreciate your working on grant proposals to get free programs going. I developed, marketed, staffed and managed a basically free summer camp for middle schoolers in DC last year so I know the work that goes into it. I also know the reward. Having even one child engaged and excited who would have been otherwise unoccupied is a success.

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