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Wrestling again lends a hand at the Wilson neighborhood cleanup

September 21, 2009

Photo Gallery (ASU Wrestling Facebook page)

For the fourth year in a row, the Arizona State University wrestling program took part in the Wilson Neighborhood Cleanup project as the Sun Devils met with the children of Wilson Elementary School in Phoenix to pick-up trash from around the neighborhoods surrounding the school. The volunteers met on Saturday, September 19, and worked in the areas in and around the school’s campus near 20th Street off of Van Buren Road.

As they had done in the past, the Sun Devils were on hand to help invigorate students, parents and the community residents to take pride and ownership of their neighborhood by working to clear debris from the streets. Organized by the Wilson Community Center, the day started at 8 a.m. with the Sun Devils meeting with the members of the community and students of Wilson Elementary School before breaking off into groups with the volunteering children to begin the clean up. After a two-hour clean up, all involved came together at the school for lunch.

The Wilson community is distinguished by a highly mobile, single parent impoverished population and is surrounded by substance abuse, prostitution and substandard housing. As an inner-city school district, Wilson Elementary School District serves approximately 1,500 children, many of which reside below the poverty level. Twenty-five percent of the children that attend Wilson School are classified as homeless while 75% live in dilapidated housing or local hotels. Ninety-eight percent of the total population qualifies for the free/reduced-cost Federal lunch program. According to the Arizona State Education Department data, Wilson School District is considered to be the most “at-risk” in Maricopa County.