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Learn What Our Community’s Next Generation Has To Say About Lancaster County

We explored the unique perspectives of students from Washington Elementary, Reynolds Middle School, McCaskey High School, and Thaddeus Stevens College. These young minds share their appreciation for Lancaster’s community spirit, cultural richness, and scenic beauty, while also voicing their hopes for improved infrastructure, community engagement, and innovative opportunities. Their thoughts were gathered during interviews and activities, and offer insights that will shape the future of Lancaster County.

Washington Elementary School

During our visit to Washington Elementary, we engaged with 5th graders eager to share their insights about their school and community. These young students are thriving in an environment that celebrates arts and music, values peacemaking, and provides opportunities for outdoor recreation.

They advocate for peace, compassion, and environmental responsibility, showing early signs of leadership through initiatives like local cleanups and their interest in growing STEM education.

By listening to these students, we are learning how to better support and empower the next generation to continue enhancing their community.

What do you like about your school?

The teachers

Early dismissal


No bullying


What do you like about Lancaster County?


The view and animals

Bike lanes

The history, music, and community

The store

Cartoon Network Hotel

The parks

The pet shop


How can Lancaster County Improve?

Fixing potholes

Sell more Prime energy drink

Littering, bike lanes, prices

Have places for people when they do bad things

More trash cans

No smoking


What can YOU do in the next year to make your school/Lancaster a better place?

No fights

Filling someone’s bucket


Be a really good role model

Pick up trash

Clean the streets and planting more trees for the forest

Reynolds Middle School

During our visit to Reynolds Middle School, we discovered a vibrant community spirit through the voices of students. They cherish the local small businesses and the sense of community these establishments foster, alongside a celebration of diverse cultures through programs like Advantage Lancaster and various city-wide festivals.

Students expressed a desire to see more locally-owned businesses, especially ones like cheesesteak shops, and an increase in community events. They also highlighted the need for more support for victims of abuse and the importance of school fundraisers.

Looking towards the future, the students advocate for investments in sports and public school funding, the introduction of financial literacy classes from a young age, and broader access to social services including mental health support. These insights will guide our efforts to empower and support the next generation effectively.


How can we support the Next Generation for the Next 100 Years?

Invest in more sports activities. Help with supplies etc.

Provide financial literacy classes for kids at a younger age

More funds for public schools

No tax on clothing 

Free healthcare

Give food to people who need it

Build more shelters for families with additional social services support

More therapy. Support mental health

What change do you hope to see?

More business (cheesesteaks)

Less corporate businesses and more locally-owned business

More community events

More support for victims of physical or sexual assault

More school fundraisers to support schools/education

More accessible jobs

What do you like about your County? 

Small businesses and the people who own them. The sense of community they bring

Diverse cultures

Advantage Lancaster

After-school programs

Festivals such as Open Streets, Celebrate Lancaster, and barnstormers light shows

Free lunches in schools

Our school involved us in the community, for example, our partnership with Milagro House

McCaskey High School

Our visit to McCaskey High School unveiled a community rich in diversity and pride. Students appreciate the unique blend of rural charm and urban convenience in Lancaster County, from the walkable streets of Lancaster City to the serene farms and historical landmarks like the steam train and trolley bus.

The students voiced a desire for enhanced infrastructure, more activities for youth, better school systems, and improved public spaces. They expressed a strong commitment to community betterment, advocating for lower crime rates, increased affordable housing, and improved amenities in parks.

Looking forward, they emphasize the need for financial education, healthcare investments, sustainable transportation options, and more effective waste management to support future generations. Their ideas reflect a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, demonstrating their readiness to lead and inspire change in Lancaster County.

What do you like about your County?

The community


Like the variety of food

That Lancaster City is walkable and the proximity of things

Park City Mall

It’s relaxing

The steam train

The trolley bus! We want it all year

Like that we evolve and elevate Lancaster County

What change do you hope to see?

Better roads, better parking

Crime rates drop

More places to go out and things to do/activities

More affordable housing

More working water fountains at parks, more park staff, and free doggy bags

Better school systems, and more sports

Better healthy (and good) menu options at school

Better treatment for pets

Eliminate racism

How can we support the Next Generation for the Next 100 Years?

Invest in peoples businesses and ideas we want more businesses.

Give us financial classes, prepare us to pay bills, be financially independent, and investment classes

Invest in healthcare and hospitals, free healthcare!

Better mass transit, monorails, buses, bicycles

Invest in clean water, clean air, and fresh food

More public trash dispensers, and frequent trash  pickup

More jobs and help us afford a car

Restructure city to work better, fix blind spots, no one-ways, College funds and more virtual classes

Support people in different pay scales, more than just  increasing minimum wage

Thaddeus Stevens College

During our engagement with students at Thaddeus Stevens College, their deep appreciation for Lancaster County’s vibrant community, diverse cultural tapestry, and rich historical setting was evident. They value the county’s unique mix of urban convenience and rural charm, highlighting the friendly atmosphere and a variety of engaging activities and food options that make Lancaster feel like home.

The students envision a future where the community is even more vibrant and inclusive, with better infrastructure, more progressive arts, and renovated urban spaces. They hope for more community gatherings and events that celebrate Lancaster’s rich history and cultural diversity.

To support the next generation, the students suggest investing in opportunities that foster growth and learning, such as providing platforms for young artists, enhancing community education, and creating more welcoming public spaces. Their vision includes a community that remains open to new ideas, ensuring a thriving environment for future leaders.


What do you like about Lancaster County?

I like the people and the quiet, but fun environment! Everyone is hard working and loving!

There’s always activities

The scenery. There’s a lot to do and a whole lot of food places

I like the feeling that I am at home when I come into Lancaster County. As a college student, being three hours away from my hometown I felt the need to go somewhere that I felt at home and being in Lancaster County has satisfied that need

Lancaster Country’s rich culture and history is extremely beautiful and interesting

I like that it is filled with a lot of history and It seems to have a very involved community

I like the places to get food within Lancaster. Along with the downtown Lancaster environment and the up-and-coming city feel

I like the way everyone comes together when there are events. Like Extragive it was nice to see the community come together for it

I like the unique diversity

I like the scenery and farmland setting. I also like the small town feel that the city has when walking around downtown. The diverse cultures in Lanco lead to some very interesting stores and restaurants, many of which are family owned. I feel like Lanco is also great “Central Hub”. This means you could take a day trip to multiple big tourist locations easily, like DC, NYC, Upstate PA, 

What change do you hope to see?

I think that there could be some better coffee shops and maybe cheaper or even free options for college kids that are fun and exciting but don’t cost us money!

I would love to see different parks and wildlife areas around the schools

More community gathering locations

I would like to see a change in infrastructure such as the roads. There are numerous roads that need to be repaired and possibly even expanded to allow a better flow of traffic to go through

I would like to see more welcoming of a modern age/modern art. Although it does this well already in places like the city, I would like to see it

I would like to see more community and volunteering activities.

I would like to see Lancaster become more vibrant and less like an old city. I would like to see the rougher area of Lancaster be brought up through architecture and more well-maintained but often this is hard in cities

I would like to see more areas of Lancaster be renovated. There is alot being renovated but I feel its only areas that attract alot of people which makes since but there are other areas that need so much more work than what is being worked

Fix roads / fix run down homes

I would like to see more big events like first Friday, or even themed events a few times a year. Lancaster City has so much history, and there could be events centered around the history. Another thing I would like to see is a downtown map with stores on it. The map would be similar to a map you would find in a mall, but would have downtown Lancaster with businesses labeled on

How can we support the Next Generation for the Next 100 Years?

Give us opportunities and your time! We want to learn we want to grow but we have lack of opportunity because companies and people want experience. Give free opportunities and events to help us grow and gain experience through events!

Provide well paying jobs

Clothing stores like Goodwill or Plato’s closet where people can get cheap clothing for colder days is integral in my opinion. maybe even clothing drives.

The Lancaster County Community Foundation can support the next generation to thrive by continuing to support ideas that will keep the city safe and allow for the next generation to grow up in a community that will allow them to reach their goals in life.

By enhancing the voices and platforms of local artists and using them to the city’s advantage.

Maybe host some community events where people can get out and see what good things are being done in the community and maybe

I would provide more places to allow younger people to gather such as more buildings like the southern market in Lancaster which provides a more high-end food court feel but is also well-maintained and visually a very satisfying and comfortable space to be in.

Be open to new ideas. I know my generations has many ideas some better than others, but if Lancaster County Community Foundation stayed open to new ideas something great can come from it

Better education / helping rebuild communities.