The area of Framingham between Waverly and Beaver streets is the highest poverty section of town. In one year alone, the poverty level index in our schools went up over 7% - from 33% to 40.5%.
That neighborhood has had its share of and crime recently.
This area is crying out for our attention.
It affects the property values of the whole town.
There were shooting deaths of three women in Dorchester last weekend and in response the Boston NAACP called for a “unified strategy” to attack the root causes of violence, such as “poverty, unemployment, broken families, and untreated mental health conditions.”
One possible way to address the problems in this area in Framingham is to start a new program called
This program provides children with a safe haven from the temptations of the street and offers them the hope and opportunity to build a better future for themselves and their community
Hoops and Homework is a program which will strengthen kids academic skills while playing in basketball drills and games or participation in other recreational activities.
The program is broken into two separate parts: studying and then recreation. The program helps identify opportunities for individual growth and provides a way for children to work on their schoolwork in a fun setting they will look forward to each week.
We just happen to have a site at Cochituate Homes on Second St. and another at on Beaver St. with space inside and outside ready for this program. All that is needed is a little start up money and the will to make it happen.
The children that will use these facilities do not have the funds, transportation or opportunities that other children have. Mixing tutoring with supervised play is better for exercise and academics.
Research done by Barak Rosenshine, PhD (Society for Quality Education) shows that since students from low-income families do not have the family learning environment that middle-class students have. They need much more academic time than is contained in a typical school day.
The situation downtown affects the whole town because kids there go to schools all over town. School achievement has suffered. For the first time in history, results in standardized tests are below the state average which results in under performing schools.
Town Meeting member, Precinct 4