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Urban Dreams asking for community support at East High School after Monday’s shooting


Three teenagers were shot near East High School Monday afternoon, leaving one 15-year-old male dead and two females ages 16 and 18 in critical condition, the Des Moines Register reported. Des Moines police announced this morning that six local teenagers have been arrested and charged with murder in the shooting.

The high school has no classes today and grief counselors will be available at the school and throughout the district this week, the Register reported.

Izaah Knox, Urban Dreams’ executive director, was on-site during the school lockdown and said there was much shock, anxiety and fear. Urban Dreams is extending its community school breakfasts that it already offers at other schools to the students and families of East High School on Wednesday and Friday this week to offer support. The breakfasts begin at 7:45 a.m. each of those days and community members can show up at the school to greet students and staff.

The breakfasts are intended to be informal, focused on listening and showing support. “It’s not about an agenda. It’s not about a performance or a presentation. It’s literally just going there, sitting down at a table and asking kids what you can do to help, asking staff what you can do to help,” Knox said.

And for people who aren’t as comfortable striking up conversation, being there and saying good morning is also a great way to show support, he said.  

“I really want people that have never even been to East or Des Moines Public Schools to come because I think they’ll see that the students there just want to learn and just want to live the best life they possibly can in our community,” Knox said. “And we need to make sure that we’re helping them … have access to the opportunities. The best way is to build bridges.”

Those interested in helping reimburse breakfasts can contact Knox at izaah.knox@urbandreams.org.

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