Much—in the last month--- has been written and reported about the crime problems around 61st and South Peoria, following the deaths of four women at the Fairmont Terrace apartments. There are children who live in the low income Section Eight Housing, clustered in that area. Those kids go to school at Marshall Elementary. The school is on the corner of 56th and South Peoria about four blocks away from Fairmont Terrace. Its principal is Kayla Robinson.
Kayla Robinson: “All of the kids that attend Marshall live in a four block radius. There are 450 students in the school. About 250-to-275 of them live at Fairmont Terrace. So that is our school community.”
Robinson and her staff strive to provide the students at Marshall a quality education. She says the kids can’t help where they live.
Kayla Robinson: “I don’t believe they (parents) drive around the city and pulled up in front of Fairmont Terrace and said this is where I want to live. It is a low income option. They deserve to be safe there and their child’s success should not determined by their zip code.”
She says dealing with life’s situations can sometimes hamper the learning process.
Kayla Robinson: “All of those children that were on the grounds of Fairmont Terrace when those murders took place, go to school every day. It is part of their lives and we are up against that on a day-to-day basis.”
Despite the mobile nature of low income residents, Principal Robinson says the students at Marshall are doing well. She says there is strong parental involvement, but not in the traditional sense. Rather than attend PTA meetings, the parents walk their children to and from school. The parents know the teachers and staff. She wants to build upon the rapport with parents.