Your Chicago: Student Activists At Reilly Elementary School
(CBS) – What do you do when you’re a seventh-grader and you want a nicer, safer park near your school, a place for the neighborhood kids to go?
Why, you embark upon a letter-writing campaign, naturally, to convince adults that it’s a good idea.
CBS 2’s Rob Johnson reports.
Reilly Elementary School seventh-graders Jessica Llangari, Christian Urena and Victor Francisco sent a FAX to CBS 2 outlining their goals.
“Our community is not so great. We do not have anything special like a park. It is not safe for everyone and it is not something to be proud of,” their message said. “We want to make a great park, something our community can be proud of.”
They are lobbying the Chicago Park District and aldermen for an improved Parkview Park just blocks away from their school in the largely Hispanic Avondale neighborhood.
At first glance, Parkview Park looks pretty nice. It has swings and slides, but it’s not age appropriate for seventh-graders. For them, it’s barren and under-developed. Can you imagine a soccer field or basketball court here? They can.
Last week, they pitched their ideas for the park to decision-makers.
It’s unlikely these student activists will get all they want because the park district has said the park can be renovated but not expanded. Nevertheless, their teacher, Betty Garcia, believes they have already won.
“That engagement, that dedication, is just amazing,” he says.
Until they hear back from the park district they have this simple plea: “We really need your help.”
The park district should be making its decision on a renovation plan for Parkview Park within weeks.