There is only so much reporting you can do from your computer or phone- so on Friday, March 20th,
Danielle Duran, Kathleen McMullin, General Jeff and I visited 9th Street Elementary to meet the new
principal, Ms. Anne Barry. The school grounds were clean, the children loud and happy. They waved
as we walked by, and the administrative assistant was very kind- good so far. It only got better as we
sat down to introduce ourselves and take advantage of her generosity with her time.
Ms. Barry started with 9th St. Elementary for the 2008-09 school year. In the short time that she has
been there, she has quickly acquainted herself with the issues that the children, teachers and the
school building itself are faced with.
The children at this school are overwhelmingly placed in a group labeled as homeless. They do not
live on the streets but they do reside in residential hotels, the missions and other homeless services
housing facilities. The majority of the student body is labeled ESL, which means that English is their
second language. The food bank delivers food every Friday to the children. Do not despair, it is not as
bad as it sounds- don’t shake your head- really it’s not that bad. Improvements can be made with the
early participation and volunteering of Downtown L.A. residents.