Kids say the darndest things . . .
No, we’re not referring to the TV series of the same name, but to a popular segment of Art Linkletter’s House Party, which ran on CBS from 1952 to 1969. (And did you just ask yourself, who is Art Linkletter?)
Kids Say the Darndest Things is probably the best remembered segment of that show, which also aired on radio from 1945-1967. Linkletter interviewed school kids between the ages of five and ten, which often led to hilarious, unscripted responses. He chronicled some of their responses in his bestselling book, Kids Say the Darndest Things, such as
(Little girl, asked about her pets):
I used to have a duck, but it ran away. Then I had a turtle, but my father stepped on it. Then I had three goldfish, but my sister put water softener in their bowl and they softened to death.
What did your mommy tell you not to say?
My mother told me not to tell any of the family secrets, like the time she dyed her hair blonde and it came out purple.
In the spirit of Kids Say the Darndest Things, the DDA recently conducted a survey of all Marcellus Community Schools’ eighth through twelfth graders. Middle School Principal Tracy Cropsey and High School Principal Lynn Wagner supervised the survey in their respective buildings.
The goal is to gain insight into how our children view their community and what they feel would enhance economic development and quality of life. More directly, what might it take to keep them in or return to the community after they’ve completed their education goals.
A total of 176 students responded. Not surprisingly, 72% listed Marcellus as home and 62% said they would seek additional education after graduating from high school.
The answers to the remaining questions are of particular interest to the DDA as it prepares to conduct a professional Market Analysis of the community.
How can community business and organizations better help high school students? The number one answer: donate to/support our schools. That was followed by provide work/jobs and job training.
The next question was: If you could bring one thing to our community, what would you like to see?
The number one response: GIVE US FOOD! Followed by more events/activities, shops, parks, and a John Deere dealership (after all, we are a farming community!). They also made these suggestions: diversity, more art, bass fishing team, police, fishing/hunting classes, fishing store, woodworking class, volunteer opportunities, veterinarian, and 11-man football.
As a follow-up to the previous question, the students were asked to share any additional thoughts or ideas about how we can work together to make Marcellus a vibrant community.
Events was the top response followed by restaurants and beautification. Other suggestions include: be nice to each other, allow for change, fix sidewalks, bowling alley, skate park, First Fridays all year, Ohana Shaved Ice Truck, annual talent show, and Marcellus needs to be bigger.
Out of the mouths of young people come great truths. The community needs to work toward providing more job opportunities and training for our young people. And we need to feed them, especially after sporting and other extra-curricular events.
The DDA is taking their suggestions seriously and is grateful for their input. The DDA’s Communication Committee is putting together a similar survey for residents of all ages in the greater Marcellus area.
Many thanks to the students and staff at the Marcellus Middle and High schools for their cooperation.