[Hpn] kids say the DARNDEST things...

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Sun, 28 Jan 2001 12:14:55 -0700

Published Sunday, January 28, 2001, in the Akron Beacon Journal. Twinsburg teen-ager's plea to president makes magazine Today's Parade includes paragraph from letter of Chamberlin student seeking aid for homeless BY MARK NIQUETTE Beacon Journal staff writer TWINSBURG: Catherine Duclos lives in a comfortable, two-story brick house in The Meadows in Ethan's Green development, but she knows not everyone is as fortunate. So when the 13-year-old considered what she would ask the new president to do for her family, school and community if she had the chance, her thoughts turned to the homeless. ``Please care about homeless people. It's not fair for people to be sleeping on benches and looking for food in trash cans,'' she wrote for an article that appears in today's Parade magazine, which is distributed with the Akron Beacon Journal. Parade asked young people nationwide to ``share their concerns about America's future with our new chief executive.'' The essay by Catherine, an eighth-grader at R.B. Chamberlin Middle School, was one of 16 selected for publication from the thousands submitted. A paragraph from her one-page essay appears in today's magazine story, and she was the only Ohio youth selected. David A. Ciborek, Catherine's language arts teacher, assigned his 75 students to write the essays last fall after he received a call from Lynn Minton, who writes the recurring ``Fresh Voices'' feature for Parade. Ciborek's students had submitted other essays to ``Fresh Voices'' during the past eight years, and Minton wanted solid submissions to meet a tight deadline, Ciborek said. ``She's very impressed with the quality of the work,'' he said. In fact, Minton conducted telephone interviews with several other students besides Catherine, whose essays also were considered for today's feature, he said. And comments from four other Chamberlin Middle School students are expected to appear in an upcoming Parade story about what kind of adults they want to be when they grow up, Ciborek said. In their essays about what the president can do to solve the nation's problems, many of the students wrote about abortion, both for and against, as well as other social issues including the environment and teen suicide, Ciborek said. Catherine, who moved to the area with her family about two years ago from Canada, said she wrote about the homeless because she has seen them on the streets of Cleveland and had class projects in Montreal to buy clothes and toiletries for the homeless there. ``We all know that homeless people are human beings just like all of us, but unfortunately, they have never had a second chance to start their lives over,'' she wrote in her essay. ``How could you, as our president of the United States, help us build houses for people in need? How can you help us, help them start their lives all over again?'' Catherine's native language is French, but you'd never tell from her writing, Ciborek said. ``She's intelligent, and she's not a girl who's afraid to think for herself,'' he said. Catherine's mother, Martine, and father, Denis, who works in corporate development for Alcan Aluminum, said they were proud of their daughter and glad she has taken an interest in the less fortunate. Catherine says she likes art and language arts and hopes someday to become an actress. ``I'm lucky,'' she said. ``I'm grateful for what I have.'' Mark Niquette can be reached at 330-478-6000 (Ext. 19) or 1-800-478-5445 or mniquette@thebeaconjournal.com -- END FORWARD **In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.** *********************************************************** 9000+ articles by or via homeless & ex-homeless people Year 2000 posts INFO & to join/leave list - Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net> Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy *********************************************************** -- STREET SHEET A Publication of the Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco 468 Turk Street San Francisco, CA 94102 415 / 346.3740 - voice 415 / 775.5639 - fax streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org http://www.sf-homeless-coalition.org