This is an open letter to the Pastors, Deacon, Parishioners, and other members of the
clergy who reside in San Antonio, Texas. We are failing the youth in our community.
On the east side of the city there is a pun that you can find a church on every corner
which is very close to being accurate. This can’t be true because if it were the tenets of
their religious faith would have moved them to help the youth in the community and they would not be in such dire straits as to be lost because of a lack of application to attain their education.
The local newspaper reported that over twenty schools in the San Antonio Independent
School District (SAISD) had failed to meet the state’s education accountability
standards. While all 16 traditional school districts in Bexar County received passing
grades from the state in accountability results, there were 30 individual schools that
failed to meet acceptable standards. These schools were found in just 7 school
districts, with a disproportionate amount coming from San Antonio Independent School
District, the only one of the area's large school districts to have failing schools.
In order for a school to qualify as "met standard" overall, it must meet targets for student achievement or student progress, as well as closing performance gaps and postsecondary readiness.
The four categories were:
Index 1: Student achievement
Index 2: Student progress
Index 3: Closing performance gaps
Index 4: Postsecondary readiness
The schools in SAISD that failed were unable to meet the four categories listed.
When I drive in the community I find many of the churches on (every corner) are closed
on every day but Sunday. I see advertisement encouraging attendance at the church
with the use of a billboard, sometimes with a catchy saying. I see youth walking the
streets and I think I am missing that sense of community that I had experienced as a
I may be mistaken and would be glad to be corrected but I see us failing the youth of
this particular community when we have so much to offer. The church has an empty
building that could offer: Reading classes, math tutoring, homework assistance, youth
activities, high school and college prep classes, and any other activities that could
engage youth to let them know the community is concerned about their wellbeing. If all
of these community religious congregations adopted a class in a local school a positive
impact could be made on the lives of many children that are our future community
These new generations of youth are very different from other generations. They are
more computer literate than other generations ever were and we must meet them where
they are in life. An ad on a billboard will not get them into an activity. Marketing to this
generation must be on their level. We can say the doors of the church are open to the
public but if you have not noticed that is not working with the families that are in need of
more positive role models. The term OUTREACH must be a part of the means to help
our youth. It is imperative that we see how the youth are living and, we must witness
the family dynamics in order to understand how to help them and what to help them to
If we do not help these young people now they will be another lost generation. Who
should take on the responsibility to help these families? Is there some great light that
will come down and all of a sudden things will be different? I don’t think so; we must be
proactive in the community because if we don’t help these young people now they will
I challenge the church community to take up this awesome responsibility and adopt a
class or a school and get involved with the change for the youth of SAISD. They need
us all of us. We must get organized and make an all-out effort to reach as many as
possible. An Eastside Clergy Coalition could make an impact. Will you take the lead??
If I can help please contact me.
Gail, a concerned citizen
Gail- I couldn't of said it better and thank you for taking my call the other day! I believe our Pastors would also agree with you.
They have many too many resources we may not know of or opportunities that need to be created within their community responsibility to be a HUGE asset to our youth!
Note to Pastors- I need your assistance in helping our youth. We cannot always count on someone to bring them to you just on a Sunday. Allow me to get the word out about your church and resources for youth that you provide. Email me at- firstname.lastname@example.org and I will connect with you right away.
We will recognize next week all the Pastors (faith leaders) that reached out to us to be a part of our next generation's present and future!
- Walt P