Danville city leaders planning new way to reach out to the city's youth

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - Danville City Council, school board members, and members of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference chapter are coming up with a plan to better understand challenges the city's youth face both at school and at home.

The goal is to build trust with the teens and help keep them out of violent situations.

For George Washington High School senior Mae GayleDalton, getting to know city council members and school board members on a personal level is important.

"I think a lot of people maybe don't know who they are, so maybe having a personal relationship with the youth would help with some dynamics and some attitudes," GayleDalton

That's the goal for council and school board members as they develop their plan for going in to the schools.

"We're trying to fine tune all areas as stated in our goals. Number one, crime; violent crime. Number two, education, and three grow Danville. We can't do any of those things efficiently if we don't involve our young people," Danville Vice Mayor Alonzo Jones emphasized.

Council and school board members hope to go in to the schools in pairs and let the students say whatever's on their mind.

Members of the local SCLC chapter are also planning on going in to the schools, but it won't be the first time.

Rev. Avon King, the president of the chapter and of the statewide SCLC organization, said they've had a lot of success before.

"Some of the kids are faced with conditions that we were not fully aware of," said Rev. King.

One thing he learned is kids' desire to have more after school activities, like the bringing back the city basketball courts.

GW senior Deaisha Saunders agrees.

"When we had the basketball courts, the trouble in our teens, the violence and the crime rate as far as teens, were very low because they were being active," Saunders pointed out.

City council and the school board plan to meet in January to further develop their plan.

Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved