I am a mother of three teenagers in the Madison County School District. My husband and I like many others, both work fulltime. We have a 3-year-old who attends daycare during our working hours. As a concerned mother and citizen, I am writing to bring awareness to a truly needed service in our local community. Richmond public schools let out a full 2 hours before I finish my workday, a typical 8 hour shift.

I am hesitant to allow my teenagers to stay home unattended more so now than ever, especially considering all the things us parents have to worry about this day and age. However, I have had very few other options than to do so. Most local "daycares" only enroll children up to the age of 11 years old, my kids are 12 and 13. I was overjoyed when a relative told me about a Teen Center in Richmond and that it may be a possible solution to my issue. However, I was shocked to find out that there is only ONE Madison County school bus that runs to the Richmond Teen Center which unfortunately happens to not be in our school district. The one and only bus that transports teens to the Richmond Teen Center is from Caudill Middle School.

What good is a teen center, if the teens have no way of getting there? I am not alone in this issue. Many parents of friends of my children are facing the same obstacle, forced to have locked key children with no resources for an alternative safe afterschool haven. As working and taxpaying citizens, the city of Richmond should do better with allocating finances and apply them to the true needs of the community in which we live, our children and teens being a top priority.

Amber Lewis

Richmond

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