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HomeNewsArchivesStudent Video Shows Traffic Hazards, Poor Recreational Facilities on St. John

Student Video Shows Traffic Hazards, Poor Recreational Facilities on St. John

Jan. 18, 2008 — Rotary Club of St. John members heard Friday about some of the issues facing St. John students when a group of teens from the St. John Youth Commission showed them a video they created with the help of a professional videographer.
"Youths have to make the best of what's available," the students said in the video.
And according to the video, what's available are slim pickings, indeed. The video pointed out the poor condition of St. John's recreational facilities. It showed missing ceiling tiles in the Parks and Recreation Department building, located across from Winston Wells Ballfield in Cruz Bay.
The ballfield, as the students pointed out, sits in a high-traffic area adjacent to Julius E. Sprauve School.
Youths also use the V.I. National Park field, located next to the park's Visitors' Center at the Creek. The youths said the field is in great need of repair.
The video showed a group of students skateboarding near the field.
"We need a game park," they said.
The Pine Peace basketball court was flooded with raw sewage, the students said. At the Moravian Church field in Coral Bay, livestock wandered the field.
"The grounds crew," quipped one Rotary Club member.
And one scene in the video showed the Elaine I. Sprauve Library doors closed when the students went to use the facility.
The overriding issue is the fact that St. John has no public high school. While the students who made the video attend Gifft Hill School on St. John, they interviewed their peers who trek off daily on the ferry to high school on St. Thomas. One said he had to catch the ferry at 6 a.m.
The video also detailed the crush of Cruz Bay traffic the students face as they walk to Sprauve School. One scene showed small children walking dangerously close to traffic on Cruz Bay's narrow roads.
The video also touched on issues facing the entire community.
"There is no place to park," one student said.
The students are Zenobia Howe, 17, Malik Stevens, 16, Hadiya Sewer, 16, Jessica Samuel, 16, Evanna Chinnery, 16, and others not at the Rotary meeting, held at the Westin Resort and Villas Beach Cafe.
After they asked Rotary Club members for help, President Joan Bermingham suggested that Rotary form an Interact chapter. Interact is a youth-service club.
The Youth Commission is an undertaking by the St. John Administrator's office.
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