2007-08-31 / Letters

Belle Harbor Kids Help Make Block Better

Dear Editor,

I have enclosed a letter drafted by two of the children that live on our block, Grace Maxfield and Amie McManus. Grace is going into the eighth grade and Amie is going into the sixth grade. This letter is a result of a block meeting that was conceived and organized by both these young ladies, with the help of several other children on our block:

"On Friday the 17th, the First Annual Beach 133 Street block meeting took place, run by Grace Maxfield and Amie McManus. During the block meeting, members of the block gathered together to discuss issues and topics of the block. The meeting consisted of several topics such as beautifying the block (adding trees in pots by the beach wall, sweeping the sidewalks and streets, painting over graffiti, etc.), making the beach safer (cleaning up the glass, lighting up the beach so illegal teen drinkers will not intrude on the block, etc.), fun ideas (block party), and more.

Most importantly though, the block discussed the fact that if more blocks had block meetings, the whole Belle Harbor community would be a cleaner and more welcoming neighborhood. What if each block just did a few things to clean up their block, such as paint the beach wall, plant some decorative trees or just paint over the graffiti. Imagine what Belle Harbor could be like."

As a result of this meeting, work has begun on cleaning up the beach wall and procuring flowers and trees. It is hoped that the proceeds from a combined block garage sale will be used to help defray any costs.

What is significant in this event, I believe, is that it shows a level of maturity and community awareness that is not often recognized by the adult world. I am sure there are many young people who share their concerns and probably just need an attentive adult ear.

I guess this is not an earth-shaking occurrence, but it is nice to know that our children are more concerned with present lives and their future environment. Life is not just music videos, games and cell phones.

LAURENCE GRAY

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