East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Griffith Middle School

Griffith Middle School is one of the middle schools located in East L.A. It’s sort of a big school, with of course, many students that attend it. It’s located by Mednik Avenue and 3rd Street, but its entrance is in front of 4th Street. There are many houses, where some of the students that attend the school live. Whenever I went there, I always saw the front entrance with the little bulldog mural and the few trees in front. If you were to go there during a school day, whether it be before or after school, you’d hear the chattering of the many students going to or leaving their classes. The smell would be no different from what East L.A normally smells like, except maybe for the car emissions, and maybe that odd scent we get that smells like raw sewage. As a middle school, the facility is used to educate kids that are between sixth and eighth grade. Although the school is memorable, its colors are sort of bland. The buildings are mostly grey with the occasional blue. You can see murals on some of the walls of the school, and in recent times the school has been decorated more. The front entrance walls now have drawings of music or of acting masks, but the iconic bulldog head still remains there. Inside though, there are open roof areas with grass and trees. Near that area was the iconic band room. But what I feel like the most memorable thing about the school are the P.E fields. They are the first things you notice when you walk around the school. There was the upper and lower field. The upper is more noticeable because it is where you can see all of 3rd Street and the Metro Gold Line stop.

The history of this place is quite vague. It opened in 1939, but after that, there really aren’t any historical records on it.  Although last year, in 2015, it went through a tragedy. A 14-year-old kid was stabbed right outside on January 23. The most intriguing thing about this place, to me, is that many of the kids that attend the school son de la Raza de los Latinos, from the Latino race. They are the 98%, while the other two percent are African-American or Caucasian. The band program is also interesting. Although it doesn’t receive much funds, the kids are dedicated to play the best they can.

Now I personally call this school a landmark. It has been around for a really long time, 77 years to be exact, and has been educating great students since its opening. People of East Los Angeles have great pride in it. Many kids that graduate from there go to Garfield High, another iconic school. If you were to remove the school, many people would be sad and angry since it’s been a part of us. Not only would it make the area less interesting, but it would also be chaotic because all the students that would have attended it would be put somewhere else, and the rest of the schools would be packed to the limit. This would obviously be terrible for the kids and the teachers.  

 If you’re not familiar with the school, I feel like you should give it a chance. Like I said earlier, it’s a good school, with a great band program. I attended this school, and from my experience, it was nice. I was also in the band for 2 years, a band geek, and played the clarinet. The instruments weren’t the greatest, but we played our hearts out and made do with what we had. We never complained about it; we just played. The other programs were good too. We had the After School All Stars program. Still, as I digress, outsiders should care for this school. It’s old and needs care, but if others gave it the attention it needed, it could be much better and can continue to educate nuestros Chicanos to a better future.

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