On Tuesday, September 22 State Sen. Jen Metzger’s office formally announced $200,000 in capital improvement grants for the St. John Street Community Hub in Monticello. The Hub, housed in the …
On Tuesday, September 22 State Sen. Jen Metzger’s office formally announced $200,000 in capital improvement grants for the St. John Street Community Hub in Monticello. The Hub, housed in the old middle school, is “a safe space for a kid to be a kid,” program director Martin Colavito said. “By doing so, it enhances youth development.”
The funds will shore up some parts of the building, he said.
“Did you know that nearly 70 percent of students in the Monticello Central School district live in poverty?” Jenny Sanchez at Sullivan 180 asked. She listed the results, from low graduation rates to mental and physical health problems. “Young people themselves expressed to community leaders that they felt neglected by their community.”
Hence, the hub.
“There are very few rules here. Maybe two.” But Colavito paints a picture of a place that, even if you break the rules, they work with you to understand why the rules are important. A place that understands kids, especially kids who face significant challenges at home as well as out in the world. One way through the struggle is a safe space, with room to be creative, to learn more in a non-threatening environment, or to just play.
“If we want to truly give them the opportunities they need to succeed, we have to think about education differently,” said Metzger in a statement. “This is precisely what the Monticello Central School District and community partners are doing through the Monticello Community Hub... If I had a resource like it as a kid, I would have been there every day.”