By Pablo Soto
My name is Pablo Soto. I am 15 years old and I live on Hope Avenue. But I was raised in the Green Island neighborhood. I attend Fanning Learning Center but my home school is South High, which I will be attending next fall. When I was younger, I never really worried about there not being pools in the summer. All I hear from the younger kids when I’m at Crompton Park is “I heard there’s going to be no pools this summer?” To be honest, I personally do not use the public pools for personal reasons but when I was younger I went every day in the summer. I remember waking up on hot, sticky, humid summer mornings feeling like I was going to explode from the heat.
I feel horrible that the kids in the neighborhood that I grew up in are not going to have a pool to go swimming in the summer. I learned how to swim in Crompton and Vernon pool, mostly Crompton because Vernon was always packed. So I walked down to Crompton. Now children are not going to be able to learn how to swim in their own neighborhood. Pools are something everybody looks forward to in the summer. Maybe the rich families that own their own pools don’t really look forward to them, but the less fortunate do.
Without the pools, kids are most likely to get into a lot of trouble because of the lack of activites to do. I understand that Vernon is going to be rebuilt but it’s going to be the only pool for like three districts, meaning the Vernon is going to be packed. The pools that are planned to be closed down are located in the poorest neighborhoods in the city. People in these communities need these resources in their communities for many reasons. Youth entertain themselves being at the pool, it’s were a lot of first time experiences can happen. It’s another way from staying away from unsafe activities, such as fights, gang violence, drugs etc. Having lifeguards isn’t the issue because I know many youths willing to work as a lifeguard for the pools.
When people think of summertime in the Worcester neighborhoods, the first thing to come to mind is the pools. When I grow up and I have my children I would like them to experience what I did with the pools. I think it’s wrong to end the tradition of the pools now and put in spray parks. Spray parks seem more unsafe and less satisfactory. Spray parks are going to be slippery, unsafe and unsupervised, which is a set up for destruction.