Banner Neighborhoods: A positive outlook for Baltimore kids

March 07, 2012

I want to thank Brett Schwartz for the measured and thoughtful response to his mugging at the hands of teenage assailants ("After a mugging, renewed faith in Baltimore," Feb. 29). It takes courage and conviction to keep moving forward and stay positive after such a scary incident.

I'd also like to comment on Mr. Schwartz's question about positive outlets available to kids in Baltimore. There are many organizations throughout the city that are fighting the good fight, providing constructive activities and mentors. I'm most familiar with Banner Neighborhoods, a scrappy little non-profit that works with hundreds of children and teenagers in Southeast and East Baltimore.

Banner runs art classes, sports leagues, reading and cooking clubs and other activities to keep kids engaged and give them great role models when they're not in school. For each kid planting a tomato vine or playing in a football game, perhaps that's one more kid with a great future.

Unfortunately, in these cash-strapped times Banner and its counterparts in other areas of the city are just scraping by and need additional funding to keep their critical missions alive. They need everyone's contributions of time and dollars to continue providing a positive outlet for Baltimore's kids.

Shannon Sneed, Baltimore

The writer is a volunteer with Banner Neighborhoods Community Corp.

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