The First Day of School

Imagine cracked pavement, small broken down houses and chain linked fences. Then imagine a middle schooler walking alone to the school up the road on his first day. instead of going inside he notices a sign on the door that says there will be no school, that the school has closed down and that youth need to find there way to a school a few miles away. The youth confused then goes to the local boys and girls club which is next door. Only to find that it too is closed. The boy sits down on a bench with no where to go.

This is a true story i witnesed yesterday while doing community service with my school. We too were also lost when we came to this boys and girls club. We were supposed to help put out food for the food shelf they host, but when we got there we found an empy, rat infested building schedualed for demolition. Just like the boy and all the members of the community who lost the food shelf, the youth club and school, we were at loss for words and a place to go. what we ended up doing was cleaning out the building. According to the youth dirrector at the facility, the building had needed to be torn down for years. It no longer met the needs of the community, so they had succesfully fundrasied enought to build a new one.

The trouble began when the school was shut down. franklin school for music was one of the many public school shut down in st. paul do to budget cuts. now already packed schools will need to accomidate the surplus of kids comeing from surrounding neighborhoods. Now that the school is empty the state has considered giving it to the boys and girls club to use instead of the money they raised. However, with the decision pending and the school fighting to be able to sell the building for prophit there has been a four month hold on progress.

Untill then this low income high immigrant neighborhood will continue to feel the loss of three of its major resources. It just saddens me that America's priorities are so out of place that were not fixing our problems at their source. instead of funding education and sports programs for youth we pump more money into band aids for corporations. If we want to lower welfare, the cost of jails and the judicial system and other social services we need to provide for the people on the bottom, so that in the future they wont need to call on these resources as often. Instead we've dissplaced an entire school and youth club.