Photo courtesy Sarah Siplak, Director of Programs for SLB Radio Productions, Inc.

by Lindsay Allen

Parents and students from several Pittsburgh schools kicked off the new school year by marched through Northside to celebrate their teachers and schools and draw attention to changes they would like to see throughout the city’s school system.

The walk was organized by the newly formed education advocacy group Jehoshabeath Eli on Saturday, August 24 to commend teachers for devoting their time to educating the youth.

“We wanted to say ‘thank you’ to all the teachers on the Northside, who have a tough job, and also to thank the staff and students, because some students go to school under crazy circumstances,” said Jehoshabeath Eli founder andNorthside resident Terri Lee.

The theme of the walk was, “We love our Northside schools, but we have work to do,” and participants were vocal about the changes they would like to see in Pittsburgh’s education system.

Students listed more financial support for extracurricular activities, more parent support in motivating their children’s success and more tutors as their top priorities. Lee believes that an increase in resources is the key to the success of Pittsburgh school students.

“We really need more technology to get our schools up to par, so the students will be able to compete in the global society,” Lee said.

Incorporating two children’s icons into the walk, students, parents and residents started their trek at Buhl Community Park across from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh at 9 a.m. Around 50 people in total, some carrying handmade posters with their schools’ names, walked to the Fred Rogers statue on the North Shore and back, completing their two-mile journey in about two hours.

In addition to thanking faculty and students, the walk was held to unite all Pittsburgh schools in hopes of them operating as one unit.

Lee describes the turnout as a “great blend” of students throughout Pittsburgh, as attendees hailed from Allegheny High School, Pittsburgh Perry High School, Schiller Elementary School, Spring Hill Elementary School, Grandview Elementary School and Barack Obama Academy of International Studies, whose students led the way with their marching band

Lindsay Allen studies at the University of Pittsburgh and hails from Eastern Pa.

Walk for Education highlights changes students want to see in Northside schools