Fairchild calls for greater investment in youth
A key component of a successful strategy to improve Dayton’s residential neighborhoods is a serious and ongoing investment in the city’s youth, Darryl Fairchild stresses. There can be no sustainable neighborhood revitalization, and severely limited short-term success, if significant attention and resources are not devoted to the school-aged population of our city. The young people are our community’s future, the material for the workforce that will attract businesses to our city, and the conveyors of all new attitudes and ethos aimed at buoying the neighborhood.
As one who started his career as a youth minister and continued to work with youth over the decades, Darryl Fairchild has a special interest in our city’s children and is committed to ensuring they have available to them the tools and conditions required for success. These include quality education, safety, a healthy diet, access to health care, opportunities for enrichment and adequate childcare. In addition, research shows that school aged children need a host of development assets in order to grow up to be healthy, responsible citizens. These assets include the support of family, school and community; good adult role models and peers who bring positive influence; a clear sense of boundaries and expectations; opportunities for constructive use of time; the imbuing of a commitment to learning; training in social competencies; and a sense of some control over their own lives. (Read more on Required Developmental Assets .)
Fairchild’s proposal for public elementary schools to serve as hubs of community development and engagement goes a long way toward making these required assets a reality for the school children of Dayton, especially when all stakeholders in a community—the youth, the parents, the older folks, the schools, the churches, the businesses, the community centers, the local law enforcement agencies, the social services--work together to form the network of support and relationship that every child needs to become responsible, contributing members of a community. All who are part of a community have a stake in the lives of our children. As our children go, so goes the graduation rate, the unemployment rate, the crime rate, the repeat offender rate, the property values in a neighborhood, the number of abandoned properties, the exodus of needed businesses from an area, and so on. Fairchild strongly affirms the research which shows that after-school and out-of-school time programs help a community’s health and safety, while preparing the future workforce.