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Kids Need High-Functioning Communities

Kids develop an emotional connection to their community. If and when community fails, their world is shaken. Sometimes, they try to figure out how to make things better.

Lyric Lee, 13: “I’m a West Virginian. I like it here. Most people don’t. There is nothing here. It’s not a good place to live because there are a lot of homeless people here. You might get your house broken-in, and all that kind of stuff… People do drugs, people cut themselves because they feel they’re not welcome. There’s nothing to life because mothers and fathers don’t take the responsibility to stand up and say, ‘you need help!’…To break the cycle, the people need to stop doing drugs. You can get help from a friend, from a teacher, from a mother, from a father, from family if you need to…I feel that maybe if they had another chance they would take it. West Virginia needs more opportunities.”

Kaia, 12, also from South Charleston, West Virginia: “Last year, when I was in sixth grade, West Virginia didn’t really spend enough money on education. And I guess the teachers didn’t feel that they got paid enough. So they all got together and there was this big strike. Since we didn’t have any school [because my mom was away from home at her job], I stayed with one of my mom’s friends who was really close with a lot of teachers. I was basically at the capital every day, at the strike. I saw a lot of teachers that I knew. We were always out there. When West Virginia went on strike, it also caused people in other states to go on strike. I liked how our teachers took a stand and actually caused other people to stand up, too. They fought for better wages, they fought for better health benefits like insurance. They also fought for better things in school like some schools in West Virginia that didn’t…have any iPads or laptops, and it was pretty hard to learn, so they were taking a stand so…kids, so they would have a chance to learn.”


Kaia, 12, also from South Charleston, West Virginia (pictured): “Last year, when I was in sixth grade, West Virginia didn’t really spend enough money on education. And I guess the teachers didn’t feel that they got paid enough. So they all got together and there was this big strike. Since we didn’t have any school [because my mom was away from home at her job], I stayed with one of my mom’s friends who was really close with a lot of teachers. I was basically at the capital every day, at the strike. I saw a lot of teachers that I knew. We were always out there. When West Virginia went on strike, it also caused people in other states to go on strike. I liked how our teachers took a stand and actually caused other people to stand up, too. They fought for better wages, they fought for better health benefits like insurance. They also fought for better things in school like some schools in West Virginia that didn’t…have any iPads or laptops, and it was pretty hard to learn, so they were taking a stand so…kids, so they would have a chance to learn.”

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