Third graders get real about race and guns in school program

By Jasmine Cen

With so much on the news about violence and crime in Chicago, it’s difficult to shield young people from hearing about it. But psychologists say parents and teachers should not ignore the issues, and children need to talk about what’s happening in their communities, even at a young age.

That’s the spirit behind a program at Village Leadership Academy, where six and seven-year-old students are delving into the city’s most intractable problems.


Students at the Academy recently had their third presentation of several year-long projects on topics like littering, school safety signs and unsafe driving.

This year, some of the third-grade students did research on one of Chicago’s toughest issues: gun violence.

Photo on top: The students give a presentation about their research on gun violence in their neighborhoods. (By Jasmine Cen/ Medill)