Gun violence, equality: The raw concerns of Springfield’s youth

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – They can’t vote yet, but Springfield’s youth has a good handle on what issues face their community and their country.

Outside the Forest Park Library are dozens of lawn signs that look like the ones you typically see during election season. If you look closer, however, you’ll see the raw concerns of Springfield’s youth: gun violence, racism, and sexual harassment.

The project was spearheaded by Forest Park Library’s supervisor Alex Remy and allowed Springfield middle and high schoolers to fill in what they wanted ‘Freedom From’ and ‘Freedom For.’ It was inspired by a similar project at Waltham Public Library. Photo gallery:

“It’s important for the kids to look at their community and realize the issues that are present for them and to start thinking about these things because in just a few years they’ll be voting and if they think about it now, they’ll be better educated later and better informed,” library manager Grace Larochelle said.

Larochelle said it’s important for voters to know what concerns our future generations have.

“I think that maybe adults don’t always think about what kids are seeing, but kids see everything,” Larochelle said. “That’s exactly what this shows here today.”

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