Sunday, February 22, 2009

Building a sustainable and enhanced community

Originally posted at The Sixth Ward on May 16, 2008 this is a description of the neighborhood surrounding Shedd Elementary and Harlan High School is only around the corner on Michigan.

From the March 2008 issue of the Roseland Heights Community Association newsletter. I really like how this piece has some history written into it:
For years we were here, growing, taking pride in our neat, safe homes, building a community based on common values, traditions and dreams for our children. We were here before Harlan High or Shedd Elementary schools were built, bot schools of quality and harmony. The Dan Ryan was built: we saw a terminal erected; Chicago State came and took root. We were striving, hopeful, growing, looking forward to, we thought, a stronger more viable community. But circumstances of time and changes in urban living and the state of the economy have brought about some harsh realities.

We face the changes of foreclosures, neglected homes, and a denser population of people has arrived. While passing through some are looking for opportunities to commit crime, litter, peddle, loiter, or exhibit inappropriate and unacceptable behavior-some of these activities are evident within our community as well. We find our community faced with a few families at a loss, lacking in social skills, uninterested and disrespectful to our way of life predicated on a higher standard. Some of our youth are restless, without positive direction, spirit and uninterested in pursuing an education. Our children are in harms way, victims of gang intimidations and violence.

Thought discouraging to acknowlege, what goes on in our community affects everyone, because anywhere and at anytime "we" or a neighbor can become a victim. Yet, all is not lost or hopeless, We need not become another black community lost. We have the opportunity to work for change, to holdfast to the belief that there are some things we can do, beginning with standing up for our community. There is no one else. It is our responsiblity.

As a community we should come together with purpose and spirit, mindful that we have integrity borne of history and tradition. You have made an investment here. Why allow your property value to decline or accept a lesser quality of life? Together we can make this community what it has always been and was meant to be with a legacy we must pass on. Know that where there is will, there is grace. RHCA represents all that the community stands for: community values, concerns, and making things better for all of us since 1957. You can contribute to the effort by attending our next meeting, joining your community association bringing your check or money order payable to RHCA.

Gloria Offord, President
A good call to action don't you think. Apparently she took over for the previous association president who retired apparently during the middle of his term. I suppose this is Ms. Offord's inaugural address of sort. According to the newsletter she was just elected in February.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

More pics around Shedd School

Originally posted on May 20, 2008 at The Sixth Ward.

The first two pics you've already see on this blog. The flag pole for the first post on this blog and the front of the school with the name of the school you see as the header image.

A flag pole and a sign out in the front of Shedd School on 99th Street.

I wish the trees weren't in the way here otherwise I would get a nice shot of the signage on the school. This should be the auditorium/gym.

Apparently this should correspond to a room number at the school. Shedd is a very small school housing students only from Kindergarent to 6th grade. This might be where students will line up before they go to classes for the day.
The backdoors of the school.
Once upon a time the Shedd lot was home to basketball hoops but obviously they're long gone now!Looking towards Prairie Avenue. Shedd takes up most of a city block and is largely surrounded by single family homes on all sides.

Friday, February 20, 2009

In the backlot at Shedd Elementary School

Originally posted on May 16, 2008 at The Sixth Ward.

I was at John G. Shedd Elementary on Tuesday to check out this school. It only houses or at least in the past it did Kindergarten thru 6th grade. It is considered a branch of Frank I. Bennett Elementary where Shedd students go for 7th and 8th grade is located across the Calumet Expressway on 101st and Prairie. Needless to say it's a very small school with a large lot.

You know the lot at Shedd has a baseball cage. You would only see this in most Chicago parks and there would be a circle of dirt. If it's used at all the students would play kickball during gym class.



Now these pictures of bottles were found in the grassy part of the lot closer to the school itself or at least the backdoor of the school. I almost consider this desecration of sacred ground. Isn't there somewhere else a person could either have a drink or dispose of this bottle? I could just act like some young child could hurt himself playing with this bottle treating it as a toy. Very sad!

BTW, I will provide more pictures of Shedd as I either take them or as I might find in my own personal collection.