YATW blog post #3- Blog For Change

Hello again.  If you do not remember me my name is Jason Greene.  I am a 9th grader at Science Leadership Academy.  In English class we are finishing a 6 month project called You and The World.  During this project we have to find a issue we are passionate about then go into the world and try to make a change in it.  My topic is public education in the city of Philadelphia.  I am passionate about this issue because I grew up in this city and went to public school in the city for all of my life.  In my first blog post I introduced the issue.  Link for that blog is here. In my second blog post I talked about the original research I did on the subject.  Link for that blog is here.This is my third and final blog called the post for change.

During the last part of this part of this project was a part called Agent of Change.  This is when I go out into the world and try to make a change.  I went to my elementary and middle school, J.S Jenks in Chestnut Hill and volunteered for half of a day.  I got to volunteer in Mrs.Croak’s classroom.  She is the 6th and 7th grade English teacher.  While there I helped out in the classroom, stapled papers together and answered some questions about high school the 7th graders had for me.  While it was fun to see lots of old friends and teachers it was hard to see how the budget crisis affected the school.  This last year some teachers were laid off.  Because of this the remaining teachers either had to teach a new grade or teach more students.  Mrs. Croak also said the school only gave her limited supplies like one case of paper to last her the whole year. Only about 10 to 12 laptops work on a daily basis. The students also had to buy the three books that they were going to read during the course of the year. I left the school around noon to head back to school.  No teacher should have to go through that. Budget cuts hurt and we need to find a solution.

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Sign outside the school

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The three books students had to buy for school

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The advance group reading ahead

How can only one box of copy paper last a whole year?

I am not the only wants a solution to this problem.  The School District of Philadelphia is facing another shortfall for the 2014-2015 school year.  If they do not get the funding from the city and state they will have to make more cuts. There have been protests to stop the cuts and get more funding for the schools.  So far there has been no solution.  I think protesting is a great way to get your voice heard but at the end of the day we need to get results. According to superintendent William Hite the district needs almost 210 millions dollars. Most of the money would come by extending the one percent city sales tax hike and a two dollar per pack tax on cigarettes.  Without more funding up to 1000 more layoffs could happen and class sizes could go up to 41.  To make a change we need funding.

Public education is this city is a very important topic and it is not going anywhere anytime soon.  We can not expect the students of this city to be the best they that they can be if they don’t have the resources. Recently, a seven year old boy passed out while at school in South Philadelphia.  Because of the budget cuts there was no nurse at the school that day.  The counselor ran to the boy and called 911.  He died later that day at a hospital.  Maybe if there was a full-time nurse on duty that day he might have lived. We can not let this happen again.

This whole project has been a great experience.  I never did a project like this before I am glad that I got to this. The whole process, from the first to the last blog the project went very smooth.  One thing that I feel like I could have done better was when I was volunteering at Jenks.  I wish I could have volunteered there for the whole day but I couldn’t.  I feel like if I stayed there the whole day I would have done better.  I would like to thank Mrs. Dunn, Mrs. Lucy,  Mrs. Croak, Mrs. Lynskey and everyone that filled out my survey earlier in the year.  Thank you.