The Rundberg Educational Advancement District wants to bring attention to issues affecting the Rundberg area, and some students were invited to offer up their ideas on what changes need to be made to their neighborhoods.
From areas with no sidewalks, to the homeless population, the students didn’t leave anything out. “We need more trash cans or to empty them sooner because the trash is piling up,” said 4th grader, Mariya Fore.
The students were from five different schools in the Rundberg area and were nominated by a teacher or counselor to take part in the Student Civic Forum.
City leaders and officer from the Austin Police Department also took part in the round table talks. “This area was once known as an area of crime or violent crime, so what we really do have is a large multicultural community with tons of students that work hard and they want to be in a place that's safe and fun and conducive to good education,” said Senior Officer Rafael Kianes of the Austin Police Department.
The forum is held for students to bring up ideas about the types of changes they would like to see happen in their neighborhoods. They come up with ideas, and the kids start by agreeing on what their main focus points will be. They then take to the stage to share their ideas with everyone. “Sometimes there's really small sidewalks, or no sidewalks, and kids are walking on the streets or on the curb and that's also really dangerous,” Fore said.
These little leaders may not know it yet, but have helped pave the way for the future of their community. “We've had huge results from this. It helped us tailor our response plan, and that plan was built between the community and the police officers, so it's awesome,” said Officer Kianes.