February 27, 2011
Hon. Ruben Diaz, Jr.
Bronx Borough President
851 Grand Concourse, Ste. 301
Bronx, NY 10451
Dear Mr. Diaz,
I am writing in support of an idea submitted to your office about a Capital Project for the 2012 Fiscal Year. The gym proposed in that letter would greatly improve our school community, increase student achievement, and make our neighborhood in the South Bronx a healthier place in which to live.
This year is my third in my current position as eighth grade social studies teacher at P.S. ***. In the time I have taught at the school, a single issue has unified the teachers and students more than any other: the lack of an adequate space to hold physical education, sporting events, and whole-school assemblies and meetings. Our multi-purpose room, while bright, clean and well kept, is simply too small for many of the activities that take place in it. These range from cramming large gym classes into a small space to holding dance classes with flooring that is unsafe for many of the requirements of the class. Providing space in which students could engage in more prolonged, healthy physical activity would help promote healthier lifestyles amongst our student body and boost achievement in turn.
Providing a way to support organized sports would also serve as a great motivator for our students. Due to great efforts on the part of many of our staff members, we do have a number of informal sports teams, but these teams have to scavenge gym time at other schools in order to hold practice and have games, both of which are irregular and difficult to schedule. Having regular access to a gym would allow more students to participate and would help to invigorate the staff and student body that would support those teams.
From a larger perspective, this project would also greatly benefit the community. The park directly adjacent to the school is currently only used by criminals to engage in illegal sex acts and to do illegal drugs. It is not at all healthy for this kind of activity to be happening in our community. Constructing a gym on that very space would allow for a safe, healthy environment that the community could use rather than a space where so much harm is done to individuals making poor choices.
Enclosed are (recently sent to your office were) many more letters from staff members and students explaining why each believes a gym would benefit our students. I hope you will consider them when making your final budget decisions for the 2012 Fiscal Year.
8th Grade Social Studies
Bronx Public School ***