St. Francis 6th Graders Write To, Interact With Burien City Councilmembers

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Michael Stein-Ross, Burien Councilmembers Lucy Krakowiak and Bob Edgar, and his 6th grade class.

by Michael Stein-Ross

Following the November elections, a number of my sixth grade students at St. Francis of Assisi School wrote to two Burien City Councilmembers – Bob Edgar and Lucy Krakowiak – congratulating them on their wins in the election.

They also related their concerns about how Burien deals with the homeless and poor in the City of Burien.

So this last Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, Mr. Edgar and Ms. Krakowiak visited with Mr. Stein-Ross’s sixth grade students to discuss these topics. Students wanted to know why Burien does not have more homeless shelters, why some of Burien’s vacant storefronts were not being used to shelter people when the weather got really bad and why there were not more community garden spaces to grow food for the poor. Another issue for the students was the availability of medical service to the homeless and poor in Burien.

The class session with the Councilmembers involved a discussion on awareness of who was really homeless, what were some of the reasons for why people become homeless and how each individual student could help the homeless. The St. Francis of Assisi students currently collect food for our local food banks, run a clothing drive and do community service at a number of our local charity sites. Any items that readers of this article want to donate to support these homeless community drives or causes can be dropped off at the school.

Some other community service projects that my students have been involved in include: building a rain garden at the school and stenciling the storm water drains around the school. You may have seen the white marking around drains in Burien’s streets. These markings are to remind people not to put things like soaps, fertilizers, chemicals and oils down them.

The students of St. Francis of Assisi plan to continue to work for the homeless in Burien.

Isn’t that what the concept of citizenship is really about?

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