"My mother passed away when she was 27, and I was sent to my grandmother and grandfather in Middletown. This was about 1959. Now, I came from Florida, and the schools there were different. Integration hadn’t come everywhere yet, and it sure wasn’t there in Florida, but up in Middletown, everything was integrated. I just knew my first day of school was going to be my last.
"I was in a classroom full... of white and Italian and German kids, and I flipped out. I didn’t want to go back. I pretended to go to school for two weeks, but I was really going and sitting with an old neighbor lady. She kept telling me, “Baby, you got to go to school. Those children arent’ going to hurt you. They’re kids, just like you”. I’d never been to school with white folks before, so I didn’t know what was going to happen.
"But she finally talked me into going back and she was right. Nobody hurt me. I found my best friends there. When we got older, our own kids went to school together in Middletown, and what I used to be afraid of is the thing I now love most. Our diversity."
This is your story, Middletown. Would you like to hear the rest, and to help us shape the voice of our community's youth? If you believe, as we do, that ALL CHILDREN ARE OUR CHILDREN and that we need to take ACTION NOW to save lives and envision positive futures for our youth, then be a part of the solution: come to one of two public readings below.
and Community Performance International are engaging youth, parents, educators and community leaders in a crucial community conversation that will develop a first of its kind community performance focusing on supporting our youth.
By spending a week in June listening to the stories of and about growing up in Middletown, from all sectors of the community (see examples from two of our 10 sessions above), we are poised to present your shared story — of, by and for the community of Middletown. We need your input and participation to get it right. What's at stake? Our children, our future as a community. Come and be a part of it.
WHEN: August 9 at 6pm or August 10 at 11am
WHERE: Middletown Youth Services Bureau, 372 Hunting Hill Ave
DURATION: 100 MINUTES
Please RSVP with Justin Carbonella at 860-854-6030 / email@example.com for either session.