Monday, February 16, 2009

Unsupervised Children

I read an article in my local newspaper yesterday about children being unsupervised this upcoming week since they're out of school for February recess... At first I was a little annoyed, but after looking at it again I think I made peace with it. The first thing I see is a headline about "unsupervised children" and then a picture from the area that I work in. It was from a rec center down the street from the library. I think that it over-generalized which population of children were being left alone to wander the streets. And then I was kinda peeved that this is not news. This is not a new thing that just started happening- kids being unsupervised all over the city and needing some place safe to be. Then today when I looked at it again I took a step back and realized that maybe this is news to some people.

"It's not a world where kids can be playing outside like they used to. ... Unsupervised after-school activities are not leading to anything productive."
---YMCA President and CEO George Romell

Read the article here...

I have been working in this neighborhood for over 3 years, so not a whole lot surprises me anymore. I may joke around about being an overpaid babysitter often, but I wouldn't have it any other way. For example I opened the Toy Library at 11 AM on Saturday. By 11:10 I had 10 children in here ranging from the ages of 4-10, and I was the only adult figure in the room. This is pretty normal for me and the other staff at the library. People ask me where their parents are all the time. And the simple answer is "Not here". They don't get it. Neither do I, sometimes. But at least they are here and not freezing their butts off outside, or getting into trouble, etc. And that is the bottom line for me. Even if it does mean that I "babysit"

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