Just like in many Connecticut cities and towns in the aftermath of the winter storm of February 8th and 9th, 2013, Waterbury residents found themselves inundated with up to three feet of snow overnight. Many businesses were badly affected by this, and the school children in the city also found themselves staying inside of their homes while snow days were announced for the following week.
The almost 22,500 students in the 43 public and private schools in the district could all just settle down to several days away from school, but a few hundred of the older youths have gone to work this week instead. After helping their own families shovel out driveways and walkways at home, they were hired at minimum wage ($8.25/hour) to help the city's snow cleanup personnel to clear out the parking lots of several of the schools. A local charity called Police Athletic League (PAL) donated the money to pay the students, who brought their own shovels, and their youthful enthusiasm, to the work. This effort eased the already stressed winter snow cleanup budget of the city.
For instance, at Crosby High School in east Waterbury, there was a conga line of shovels helmed by teenagers willing to work hard to get their school ready for their return to classes. A few of the students with drivers licenses were even able to drive the many snow trucks that were available. Interviews with these young people revealed that there are three motivating reasons for their wanting to help to get this very difficult work done quickly:
* Some say that they would be wasting time at home with the snow hampering them from moving around.
* Others say that the sooner the schools open, the fewer days will be taken from their summer vacation.
* And still others say that the money that they earn shoveling snow will add to what they could spend during spring break.
It turns out that despite their hard work, the entire week of February 11th through 15th will be without school due to the tremendous amount of snow that fell over the weekend. But it is gratifying to learn about the willingness of these hundreds of Waterbury students to work so hard on behalf of their schools.
"Digging out to get back to school" Wtnh.com 2/13/2013
"Waterbury Schools" Localschooldirectory.com