My kids are all grown up now. I have grand kids who go to public school in Brooklyn.
On these chilly Chicago mornings I walk Ulysses at about 7:30. Just as kids are walking to Darwin Elementary School.
Our neighborhood school. My neighborhood school for 40 years.
Some of the older kids walk by themselves. The younger ones walk with a parent.
Last week a dad was trying to walk the dog and his youngster. The dog was somewhat out of control. The boy looked to be about six. He obviously decided he wanted to ride his two-wheel bike to school, and was not too skillful at it. And they were late. It was almost too frantic and stressful to watch.
I see one girl walk every morning in the thinnest of sweatshirts. Even on the coldest of mornings.
I wonder if her family can’t afford a warmer coat? Or is it a style thing?
After all, I had Park Ridge students who wore basketball shorts to school on sub-freezing mornings.
But then, Logan Square ain’t Park Ridge.
Darwin has a lot of poor kids.
And now it has some kids of young white families. Logan Square has now become somewhat hip. Younger professionals have moved in to the neighborhood and some either can’t afford to move to the suburbs as their kids have reached school age. Or who want to stay because they like it here.
In any case, Darwin is a Logan Square neighborhood school. A classic three-story brick building that has stood here for a hundred years.
I briefly walked the picket line this year with Darwin teachers.
It’s not a magnate school. Not a charter. It does well with the resources it has.
It’s a neighborhood school.
Tonight at 5:30 there will be a rally at the Logan Square Auditorium to keep Logan Square public schools open.
It will be part of the city-wide campaign to stop school closings.