Statement in Support of the NEA
1 day ago
Thursday, May 31, 2007 from 1:30 PM to 2:15 PM
Parents and children from Fairview German Language School raise awareness against cuts in school arts funding.
Fringe Kids Theater
Saturday, June 2, 2007 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Co-produced by the Fringe Festival and Fountain Square Management Group.
Subject to change
Upstairs and Downstairs
Owl and the Moon
... remember when ... the public swimming pool teemed with people on any given summer day. It’s hard to imagine that our society has changed so much. Nowadays, everybody goes into debt trying to maintain a pool in their back yards. For many, even one of those round, metal-sided dunk tanks is a status symbol. They have their picnics on their own backyard decks rather than meet friends at the park. It’s all part of the move toward private rather than public recreation.
Now that the crowds have gone, the park is more peaceful, but I can’t help but think that we have abandoned an important part of the social structure of our city. Many of my fondest and most vivid childhood memories come from Thompson Park. My parents took us there regularly for picnics with their friends and their families. Nobody needed to drink beer and talk loud to have fun.
During the long summer weekdays, mom would drop us off at the pool and return several hours later to pick us up. Parents didn’t have to worry about their kids getting into trouble. You went swimming, ate hot dogs, and watched the big kids show off on the high dive. It was great.
...Some parents imagine that allowing their children to mingle with “strangers” is dangerous; they want complete control of every minute of their child’s life. I don’t see how forcing one’s own paranoid fears on kids is good parenting.
Cincinnati’s Recreation Commission is getting ready to open the city’s 40 swimming pools during the first week in June. Acting Recreation Director Michael Thomas told Council’s Health and Recreation committee Monday that more than 200 of the needed lifeguards have been hired and are being trained. In the future the number of pools may be reduced because of the price tag for maintenance. Thomas says they could be replaced with spraygrounds, which is basically a playground that allow people to get wet. The commission is planning to replace Oyler Pool in Price Hill with one of these facilities. Spraygrounds could be open longer during the summer, and they would not require lifeguards. He says the commission will be studying the volume and usage of all the pools in the city. A consultant has determined the city would have to spend $20 million to bring the city’s pools to good condition, and that’s without any new issues or problems developing.
I ran across this trailer for a film that follows children for 6 years as they grow up in a troubled area of Hamburg. Interesting that this is considered the bad part of town.
Middle-class neighborhoods, long regarded as incubators for the American dream, are losing ground in cities across the country, shrinking at more than twice the rate of the middle class itself.
In their place, poor and rich neighborhoods are both on the rise...
"No city in America has gotten more integrated by income in the last 30 years" ...
...a sorting-out process is underway in the nation's suburbs and inner cities, with many previously middle-income neighborhoods now tipping rich or poor.
... increased residential segregation by income can remove a fundamental rung from the nation's ladder for social mobility: moderate-income neighborhoods with decent schools, nearby jobs, low crime and reliable services.
For people who do not want to put up with aging, troubled neighborhoods and have the means to do something about it, escape is remarkably easy -- in Indianapolis and across much of the country.
The housing industry in the Midwest and the Northeast routinely floods local markets with new, ever-larger houses. In greater Indianapolis, more than 27,500 houses were constructed between 2000 and 2004, even though the population grew by only 3,000.
In the process, older houses and many older neighborhoods -- such as McCray's -- have become as disposable as used cars.
"As upper-income Americans are drawn to the new houses, neighborhoods become more homogenous," he said. Echoing the Brookings study, he said: "The zoning is such that it prevents anything other than a certain income range from living there. It is our latest method of discrimination."
At a PTA meeting, during a discussion of traffic problems around the school campus, I asked what we could do to encourage families to walk or bike to school. Other parents looked at me as if I'd suggested we stuff the children into barrels and roll them into the nearest active volcano. One teacher looked at me in shock. "I wouldn't let my children walk to school alone … would you?"
"Haven't you heard about all of the predators in this area?" asked a father.
"No, I haven't," I said. "I think this is a pretty safe neighborhood."
"You'd be surprised," he replied, lowering his eyebrows. "You should read the Megan's Law website." He continued: "You know how to solve the traffic problem around this school? Get rid of all the predators. Then you won't have any more traffic."
Our hyper-anxiety about the safety of children is creating a society in which any outdoor activity that doesn't take place under the supervision of a coach or a "psychomotor activities" mandate from the state is too risky to attempt.
A child is almost as likely to be struck by lightning as kidnapped by a stranger, but it's not fear of lightning strikes that parents cite as the reason for keeping children indoors watching television instead of out on the sidewalk skipping rope.
And when a child is parked on the living room floor, he or she may be safe, but is safety the sole objective of parenting?
Which scenario should provoke more panic: the possibility that your child may become one of the approximately 100 children who are kidnapped by strangers each year, or one of the country's 58 million overweight adults?
Outside the school in Amsterdam, harried moms drop off children, checking backpacks and coats; men in suits pull up, with children's seats in back, steering while talking on their cellphones. It's a typical drop-off scene, only without cars.
Her two older children ride their own bikes on the 25-minute commute to school while she ferries the four-year-old twins in a big box attached to the front of her bike. Biking gives her children exercise and fresh air in the morning, which helps them concentrate, she says. "It gets all their energy out."
the American road can take some adjustment, as Cheryl AndristPlourde has found when she visits her parents in Columbus, Ohio. Last summer, the Amsterdam resident enrolled her 8-year-old daughter in a camp close to her parents' house. The plan was for her daughter, who biked to school every day back home, to walk to camp. But her daughter whined about the 10-minute walk -- all the other kids drove, she said -- and the streets were too busy for her to bike. By the third day, Ms. AndristPlourde was driving her daughter to the camp
Many parents refuse to paddle their children, and a lot of people believe it has been taken out of the equation in the school systems, but that isn’t true in all schools.
“Many parents can’t or don’t want their children going to Saturday School because of a discipline problem they may be having. Instead the parents can sign a paper and agree to have the child paddled instead of making them go to school on Saturday. It is entirely up to the parents, and it is effective in most cases,”.
"There are those in our society and political leadership who have given up on public education, and they really don't believe that public schools ought to have a special place within our social structure," Strickland said in a recent interview in Toledo.
Reflecting the demand of some parents to get their children out of public schools, about 76,000 students attend charter schools in Ohio, and annual growth rates have been in double digits since the first charter school opened in Ohio in 1998.
Contrary to popular opinion, children play a key role in strengthening local communities and making people feel safe in their neighbourhoods, according to a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Much panic today about childhood in urban areas is based on a very partial picture, argue the authors...(whose) report challenges previous theories that social networks are largely determined by parents. According to the evidence they found, children are active - both indirectly and directly – in forging neighbourly relationships and connections for their parents.
They found that the more parents were involved in the lives of their neighbours, the more freedom they gave their children. At the same time, the more social networks children have in a neighbourhood, the greater parents’ confidence in the safety of that area.
Many parents questioned were often torn between wishing to protect their children and wanting them to be streetwise.