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We all know the statistics. Madison has been suffering from a population decline, more so than some other Connecticut towns. However, there is still hope: a community center. A popular poll vote has confirmed that Madison citizens want a community center, but as a high school senior, I’ll tell you why we need to keep pushing.
Guilford experienced a population growth rate of more than four percent since 2000. I argue that these numbers came from the same mindset that birthed the community center. Growth happens when we hold a stake in our community. We’re losing right now because we’re fragmented. We must replace our inherent exclusion with intergenerational integration.
As a kid, I took gymnastics classes at the Guilford Community Center, and in the same area, seniors would have their morning coffee. Plenty of kids miss out on those social lessons. Madison’s community center will create a platform for multi-generational conversation.
Moreover, I’ve come across many high schoolers who find the community center to be a necessity—a place they can perform, sing, film, draw, paint, and anything in between. That space doesn’t exist right now. Kids could explore what they already are passionate about, and find new things.
This year, I was given the chance to take independent project at Daniel Hand, in which students are invited to explore any project of their choice. I realized the lack of a community space in Madison. I decided to curate a gallery, with art from the Vista program, high schoolers, the Madison Art Society, and veterans at the West Haven V.A. Hospital. We were able to transcend the confines of our generational differences through our communal language, art.
The same opportunity exists today, reinvigorating the Academy building would inspire generations of Madison citizens for years to come.
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