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P.S. 71 students rewardedfor ideas on change

Bronx Times

Second grade students at P.S. 71 would like to see some change in their neighborhood, and now that they know the ropes, they just might get it.

Justine Chirico, second grade teacher at P.S.71, had the president of Community Board 10 John Marano speak to her students on Tuesday, January 17 about what it is that community boards do for their community.

“She was talking to students about the community and she asked a couple of people to come and speak to her kids,” Marano said. “So I talked to them about what we do at Community Board 10 and I was very impressed with the students’ response to my talk. Our kids really pay attention to what goes on in the community and what our needs our in our neighborhoods.”

After Marano’s visit to the school, Chirico had her students pen letters of thanks to the community board for addressing some of their concerns.

“Justine surprised us with the class letters . Some of them made suggestions on what they thought needed to be improved or fixed in the community,” Marano said. “One of the boys who wrote a letter, Thomas Whelan, really stood out to me because in his letter he had suggested the community board go to each corner in the area and place a dispenser with plastic bags, so that people who walk their dogs can use them to pick up after their pets.”

Marano said he was pleased to see that such young students are talking with their parents and paying attention to the news to understand what is happening in their area.

“What we decided to do was to pick four of the best letters and present those students with certificates,” Marano said. “We picked two boys and two girls and gave them certificates for their creative ideas.”

Ashley Polanco, one of the students who received a certificate, said she would like to see more schools in the area.

“I go to P.S. 71 in the Bronx,” Polanco wrote. “I am writing to let you know that we need more schools in our community because my school is too crowded. Teachers would have more time to work with each student. This means that students will get better grades.”

Trinity Low said she would like to see people use public transportation more often, and also pick up their garbage instead of leaving it on the ground.

“There is too much traffic, Maybe people should start taking the bus and train more,” Low wrote. “Then there will be less cars. There are too many cigarettes on the ground. People also don’t clean up after their dogs. They also like to throw garbage on the floor. None of them bother to pick it up. They should be given tickets too. Please help us make our neighborhood a better, cleaner place.”

The students chosen for their creative ideas and suggestions were presented with certificates from CB 10 on Tuesday, March 27 in front of their teacher and classmates.

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