Involving Children

We discussed more of Jane Jacobs’ work in class on Tuesday about children and their usage of parks. She really went into great detail about how dangerous parks are for children. She spoke of gangs, violence and in some cases even death. To me, this was heartbreaking to read because parks are made for children and should always be a safe place for children to play and have a chance to be kids. Today’s parks are designed so much better than they were before, this is because people began to realize this trend and wanted to change the “stigma” of parks. Parks are now more specialized, for example the park I grew up with has a basketball court, a tennis court, a baseball field, a trail and a playground area. I grew up in a safe suburb outside of Pittsburgh, so I never experienced any of the violence that parks had to offer. This could be because I was never alone when I went to the park or maybe I was even too young to realize.

We also touched on the fact that in this day and age parks are potentially coming extinct. Kids would rather sit inside and play with some sort of technological device than go to a park and run around. Kids are sometimes even forced to go outside and this is sad. I think this is the perfect reason to have a place for kids to play on the terrace. As I was walking through the town of Borgo Bello, I noticed that there wasn’t exactly a place where children could play. Grass isn’t as common here as it is in the United States (from what I have seen). The terrace is the perfect place for kids to have a little free space to play that’s away from any busy streets.

On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to visit a class of first graders at the local elementary school. I had so much fun! Even though I usually could not understand a word these adorable children were saying, Vincenzo was there to translate every word for us! (Thanks Vincenzo!) At first, I found it a little strange that these first graders were learning about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagaski. When I was in first grade nothing about war was ever mentioned, but the more I thought of it I was impressed by how much they knew at such a young age. They’re actually learning such a valuable lesson about peace and positive relationships that kids all over the world should also learn about. The Kaki project is a great way to teach kids these lessons and even to get them involved within the community. My favorite comment from one of the students was when he said that kids don’t make wars, adults do! These kids were inspiring! They had such a positive outlook on the world. Truly insightful!

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