Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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April 18, 2013

Picture It!

Youth snapping photos of their neighborhoods.

GOSHEN — Goshen youth are recording images of their community as part of a program offered through LaCasa.

A group of young people are taking part in the program “Picture It!,” according to LaCasa officials. The young people are using digital cameras to take photographs around Goshen for the next six weeks. During the program, they meet to discuss the images they have recorded. The pictures taken by the participants will be displayed at the Electric Brew in June.

Led by residents who attended the NeighborWorks America Community Leadership Institute with LaCasa outreach staff last fall, the goal of the “Picture It!” project is to connect with youth and encourage them to think about the significant characteristics (both strengths and weaknesses) of their neighborhoods.

LaCasa staff said that while social science research indicates that youth tend to spend more time out and about in their neighborhoods than adults do, youth perspectives are often absent from the process of determining goals and setting priorities in neighborhoods. The “Picture It!” project is an attempt to bring more young people into the mix.  

Project team member and Rieth Park Neighborhood resident Sandra McMasters sees the program as a way to teach kids that they can make a difference. “If we are waiting for someone to make a change, we should all know that we are the ones who will make that change,” McMasters said. The program is also an opportunity for young people to learn basic photography skills.  

“I’m excited to see what the kids will come up with,” said Chamberlain Neighborhood resident Sheryl Guzman, the mother of one participant. As for her son (Raul), she said, “I know he’s really excited about taking pictures of the creek!”

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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