Saturday, May 26, 2012

Help Us Take Macdonough School 4th Graders Out On The River

The Jonah Center is working with Macdonough School and the North End Action Team (NEAT) Hiking Club to include a small group (about 8) 4th graders on our river paddle on Saturday, June 30, at 9 a.m. This paddle will introduce these neighborhood youngsters to the natural wonder that surrounds their neighborhood.

To make this possible, we are looking for Jonah Center Friends who can help in one of 2 ways:

· Carry a Macdonough School 4th grader as a passenger in your canoe. (Those who can do this will not be asked to pay the $10 per person “insurance donation” that is requested from other participants.)

· Sponsor a Macdonough 4th grader by making a $30 donation to cover the insurance costs for transporting one student.

If you can assist in one of these ways, just reply to this message, please visit and send us a message with with “Paddle Help” in the subject line.


Anonymous said...

so why are kids from other schools excluded? Lately kids at MacDonough receive more town resources than other kids in Middletown. Why can't I donate $30 and send a kid from the North End projects who goes to Farm Hill? Or a kid at Wesley? Or one from low income housing in Westfield? I understand that NEAT and Jonas are trying to help the underserved but there are lots of kids in Middletown underserved.

Anonymous said...

Hun, it's about voting. Keep the poor down keep the social services coming!

Izzi Greenberg said...

This isn't a social service. NEAT, Macdonough and The Jonah Center are NOT social service groups. NEAT IS a group of residents doing things for our community. THis is multiple community-based organizations coming together to do fun things with our city's families. The north end has a culture that is vibrant and community-minded and the groups and neighbors involved organize great things to do.

Anonymous 4:19, it's really easy to get things done when you organize them. Get involved with the school in your neighborhood and reach out to others like the Jonah Center.

This isn't about voting either. It's about making sure that families in our neighborhood have equal access to our city's resources. The north End doesn't get more of the city's resources. We're just finally getting some city resources after many years of being totally ignored. Years ago, there were trash problems, our school was terrible, police were admittedly keeping problems corralled here. People who live here got sick of the municipal disinvestment and raised a voice. They demanded an equal piece of city services that other neighborhoods take for granted. Our city should be proud of that effort and supportive of its neighbors.

And, yes, for the record, NEAT does have a lot of Farm Hill (and Middle and High Schools) kids involved in our hiking club, as well.

Anonymous said...

It was my goal to start a south end action team - but I won't go here just yet- izzi keep up your great advocacy- you are a role model. Growing up in this town- the "north end" was the dumping grounds as were a few other spots that segregated our town by color and economics- its unfortunate that there aren't more people like you dedicated to make sweeping changes in our entire town- its emotionally exhausting to try to speak out and get beat up in the process-

Anonymous said...

To say the Northend has been neglected is just wrong. When the city redistricting was done it was stacked. The North end benefitted. Yes, Macdonogh has improved enormously only because kids were taken out of their neighborhood and bused to other schools and resources redirected to MacDonogh. Living in that area and I've seen it. My kids have benefitted but talk to other parents around town. The problems haven't resolved only been shifted. It should be equal access and resources for all. We are ONE Middletown--we aren't North End, South Farms, Westfield or the Wesleyan community.

Jen Alexander said...


Your facts are wrong on redistricting. In the 2010-11 school year, Macdonough school lost about 75 kids - they were from the Newfield Street apartments and did not live in the North End (those kids now go to Spencer). At the same time, about 125 kids who lived on North End streets that had been attending Moody School were redistricted INTO Macdonough, resulting in the current overcapacity issues (14 classrooms in a building recommended for 12.) At the same time, there were other North End kids at Moody who were redistricted to Farm Hill, and all in all, 19 areas around town were moved to different schools, in an effort to improve racial imbalances and relieve overcrowding at Moody, and create contiguous school district boundaries. Also, the big gains in Macdonough's scores and school climate primarily occurred in the years before the redistricting - not after - although the school continues to improve in many ways. If you are really advocating to stop pitting one part of Middletown against others, please get the facts. Macdonough still has, by far, the highest poverty numbers in town, which entitles it to additional federal funding, and it has an active parent community and a terrific staff, which also bring more opportunity to the school. Since all Middletown kids merge in 6th grade, I can't imagine why you would begrudge our efforts at Macdonough to give our students the best chance to overcome the disadvantages that have historically accompanied entrenched poverty. Instead, you might view our efforts as a way to help Middletown be a less divided place and enable higher levels of achievement in middle and high school as Macdonough students now can hope to get a solid elementary education - which I can assure you, as a Macdonough parent on and off since 1997 - was not always the case.