Human Services director Bill Siedhoff and School Board member Ron Jackson will be in Washington, DC, today to pick up a national award describing St. Louis as one of the best cities in the country for children.
That’s an honor of which we should be proud. The City is, for most of us, a wonderful place to raise our families. Safe neighborhoods, good schools, plenty of green space, an abundance of cultural institutions, extraordinary medical centers, concerned adults, the daily experience of a diversity of cultures . . . St. Louis has all these things. And Bill and Ron — two local heroes on children’s issues will accept the award on behalf of the thousands of adults who work for kids here.
But, as I told the Commission for Children, Youth, and Families yesterday, we need to remember that many children in this region would not recognize their homes from my description above.
There are many ways the country fails her children. The most insidious are the ways we fail to address poverty’s complicated challenges. There should be no relationship in America — or St. Louis between a household’s economic status and a child’s safety, education, or health.
But, of course, there is.
That any child in this City can see no hope is reason enough not to put too much stock in national awards, however welcome.