11 Oct Show commitment to the kids in our city
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – I’ve lived in Pittsburgh my whole life. I grew up in Lincoln-Lemington and went to Pittsburgh Public Schools: Lemington Elementary, Reizenstein Middle and Taylor Allderdice High. I’ve also worked in Pittsburgh’s nonprofit and public sectors for over 14 years.
In my time here as a K-12 student, a college and graduate student, a fellow of programs like Coro Pittsburgh, the Center for Progressive Leadership and Americorps, and now as the executive director at Higher Achievement Pittsburgh, I have witnessed our kids struggle. I, myself, struggled growing up in a community that lacked (and continues to lack) safe extracurricular and out-of-school learning experiences.
I have seen kids enter kindergarten far behind their peers, having never opened a book. I have seen kids hungry, with their last meal being the one provided during school lunch the day prior. I have seen quality after-school programs close, with no sustainable funding source to keep them afloat. Sadly, these issues are not new. They have persisted my whole existence here and, without intervention, will continue to persist. Enough is enough.
Allegheny County residents will soon have the chance to show their commitment to our kids (Oct. 8, “Other Areas Have Funds Dedicated to Children”). If voters on Nov. 6 say yes to the Allegheny County Children’s Fund, children will gain increased access to early learning opportunities, after-school programs and nutritious meals — three proven areas that help youth reach success now and in the future.
I will be voting yes to the Allegheny County Children’s Fund, and I hope my fellow Allegheny County residents will join me. This is our opportunity to stand up for all of our kids and make a difference. Our kids are counting on us and deserve our support.
By James Doyle
The writer is a steering committee member at the Allegheny County Children’s Fund.