Community is …

A little kindness

by Fox Smith
The Learning Community School
fifth grade

The week of the big snow, I went and asked my neighbor if I could go sledding on his hill. Not only did he say “yes” but he came out and played with me. I love living in Asheville because of how kind everyone is. I am so happy that my family chose to live here. I bet if I didn’t, I wouldn't be as happy as I am now. I really appreciate how nice the community is because now I have a lot more freedom. For example, I can ride my bike all the way down to the store without being worried about anyone being mean or abusive to me. One time, someone accidently bumped into me when I was walking down the street and said “sorry,” so then we started having a nice conversation.

Almost every time I wave or smile at someone on the street, they usually always turn and smile back. I can't say if there's any downside about my community. I also think that it's really important that the Asheville community has shelters for the homeless and special adoption centers for animals because both of these mean so much to me. I absolutely love living in Asheville.

Graffiti is an art

Noah Burgess
Community High School

In a city that hardly sleeps, constant cars and bars are open until all hours of the night. [Asheville is] a city of art but criminalizes [artists] for decorating the walls. It’s looked at as gang-related; it’s looked at as “trash.” One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The biggest problem about my community is that they don’t see graffiti as art.

It all starts with a simple “tag.” If we never [had] learned to tag — the tag is the buttery essence of graffiti; it’s the most important part — we would never have learned how to do a “throw up.” Without learning how to do a throw up, we would have never learned how to do a “piece.” Without the knowledge to do a piece, we would have never learned how to do the “mural” you want to have on the side of your building.

Just like everything you do in life, you have to start somewhere. If someone had never showed you how to walk, how would you have learned? My community, the city of art, should support our local artists, no matter what the form is. Give us free walls, a place to go without being prosecuted. Give my art a chance to grow. Don’t cut the head off before ever giving it a chance.

Happy sledding!

by Chilly Curwen
The Learning Community School
sixth grade

Snow. In my face, in my coat, down my back. Sledding is fun, but you have to be ready to be cold. Freezing cold. So cold you’d think you’d have to shove yourself in an oven to thaw yourself, and even then you’d still be cold. The street next to my house is the closest actual sledding hill, but the best hill I know is on this golf course. This certain part goes down at a really steep angle and has a jump that totally launches you.

When my family and I went there this extremely snowy February, two people that share our house, Elizabeth and Hunter, came too. The first time I went down, I hurtled over the jump and then “plane-crashed” down. A sharp pain steered its way through my body from the bottom of my spine to my skull when I landed, but it was worth it. I watched three people crash because they flew off the jump and then landed on their backs, and each got up laughing. On another hill, there were three or four people making a snow fort. A bunch of other people were heaving huge slush balls at each other, and most of the people were sledding, sharing sleds, going on jumps and laughing together. That’s the coolest thing; everybody in the community was there having fun. I mean everybody. That is what I think community is: everyone in one place having fun.

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