Recently, my assistant Simone passed on an article about the decline in school age children (ages 5 and up) in San Francisco proper.
As a person who works with children on a daily basis, I find this a bit disturbing. First, it’s children that give a city life, energy, and vitality. I know there is a portion of our population who would disagree, but you’ve got to admit, the visage of a child running with a kite flying behind them at Chrissy Field, or looking wide-eyed into the sky as the Blue Angels pass overhead, or ecstatically enjoying an ice cream cone from Bi-Rite Creamery, cannot be surpassed. The pure expression that comes from a child who is “in the moment” is one that should be captured, nurtured, and applauded. People need to see moments like that in their day, and without kids, a lot of that energy just dissipates. Without kids, a city loses its heart beat.
It also worries me for the kid’s sake. As more and more families move out to the suburbs, our kids lose the joys and challenges of living in a city. City life makes you mingle, makes you flexible, makes you work. It brings you together with folks from all different walks of life. Move out to the suburbs and you’re going to spend a lot more time isolated in your car!
I hear the concerns though. I hear it from all walks of life, from my clients, to the folks in the library system -- the schools need help. The local schools are overcrowded, understaffed, and improperly maintained. And the private schools aren’t much better. Everyone, it seems, lacks money and inspiration. I’m not sure how we begin, but we’ve got put the feelers out there now, we’ve got to figure out a way to keep our families in the city, embrace them, and give them a reason to stay. Otherwise we might as well become Vulgaria from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
To learn more, read:
Parent Dish: San Francisco - A Town Without Kiddies?
SF Gate: S.F. losing kids as parents seek schools, homes