Friday, January 25, 2008

Make Us Want to Stay, Students Say

Under a Thun Award Grant, 35 young people tell what it would take to make communities into places where they would want to live.
By Mike Urban, Reading Eagle

If Pennsylvania wants to hold onto its young people, it better start listening to them.

Many referred to West Reading's Penn Avenue business district as the ideal that other Berks municipalities should aim for a clean place where people can safely walk between locally owned entertainment venues, shops and restaurants.
The session was funded through the recent $5,000 Thun Award Grant provided by David L. Thun of Lower Heidelberg Township. Thun, who is involved with several organizations committed to improving Pennsylvania, said he wanted the students to learn about how they could better their communities and state, a lesson they don't often get in school. “It's time we give the young people an opportunity to tell us something rather than just the adults,” he said. Among the speakers were Amy Liu of the Brookings Institute, who showed just how quickly Pennsylvania's young people are moving out of the state, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas Hylton of Pottstown, who issued his plea for comprehensive planning to save cities, towns and countryside.

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1 comment:

  1. leeand0026/1/08

    I agree with this...I'm 26, and when I was in college, everything was within walking distance: The people I cared about (this gave me a sense of community), the classes and job I went to, where I ate, and where I went to rent movies. There just wasn't much need to get in a car and drive...and given that I could do what I needed to get done for school, and what I needed to learn.

    Now that I've been in the real world for a couple of years, I've found that most people have jobs that they have to commute to, often a commute of over an hour. This causes all sorts of problems; Two hours everyday on the road does not create a family friendly environment for raising your children, since they become unsupervised latch-key kids. It also makes it nearly impossible to learn anything new, since most if not all of your free time is spent on the road.