In 1986, Mrs. Roundtree, moved into the neighborhood and was there, in 1991, when a child was injured on her way to school. Along with a small group of concerned volunteers, Mrs. Roundtree helped create Harrity Concerned Citizens for the safety of students in their travels to and from school every day.
The group appealed to the principal to prevent another accident. Without money in the budget, the Harrity Concerned Citizensformed an all-volunteer group to serve as crossing guards themselves. They also started patrolling around the school, reported any suspicious activity, cleaned up graffiti and were a positive presence any time the children were outside the school. Their mantra was “Safe children learn more.”
Their tactics were basic, yet effective. They showed up at budget hearings waving posters, they met with their local police captain, they removed snow and they made phone calls to their elected officials. A lot of phone calls. No email, no Facebook, no twitter- just old-fashioned smiles and dials! And it worked.
Fast forward to 2010, and Harrity Elementary School joined the Mastery Charter Schools Network. Mrs. Roundtree said there was an immediate change. The school yard was clean, the students respectful and the staff embraced the families. She sees the focus on discipline, uniforms and, most importantly, the insistence that every student will go to college. While Mrs. Roundtree speaks of “retiring,” she can still be seen on the porch of her house every day greeting the students on their way to and from school.
Harrity Concerned Citizens and Mastery Harrity are a true example of neighborhood partnership at its best. We thank Mrs. Roundtree and all of the volunteers!