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Department of Children and Families 
Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida 

Parramore Kidz Zone 

PKZ Visits MLK Jr. Memorial
PKZ Visits MLK Jr. Memorial

Parramore Kidz Zone Tours Atlanta 

By exposing youth to outside educational and cultural experiences, Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ) hopes to reduce juvenile crime, teen pregnancy and high school drop-out rates.


In August, 39 PKZ youth took a four-day trip to Atlanta, Georgia. The trip was a reward for the children who had worked hard during the summer in various programs offered by PKZ. For most of these children, this was their first out-of-state trip.  


The first day included a visit to the Atlanta High Museum of Art where the children viewed and discussed the work of prominent artists.


Day two included visits to Morehouse and Clark Atlanta colleges. Fellow PKZ classmate Robertson Bassy will be attending Morehouse College this fall, which made the visit particularly significant for the children.  


On day three, PKZ visited CNN and toured the studios. The children met the newscasters and were introduced to the workings of the newsroom.   


Before returning home on day four, the group visited the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

For more information on the Parramore Kidz Zone visit

 or call 407.292.6500.

New Town Success Zone

New Town Success Zone Logo

Success Park

Edward Waters College, New Town Success Zone (NTSZ) and the City of Jacksonville recently partnered to break ground on Success Park. "The residents of New Town identified the need for a park several years ago as a place where families could gather, seniors could exercise and perhaps a community garden could thrive," said New Town Co-Chair Pam Paul.


Edward Waters College donated land at the corner of Pearce Street and 3rd Street W and also agreed to help with the construction and 20 years of maintenance. "Edward Waters College is excited to support this community collaboration to provide developmental and educational support for our community," said Edward Waters College President and NTSZ Co-Chair Nat Glover.


The park will serve as a safe place for the community to become active and build relationships that will help NTSZ reach their goal of improving the health and social development of the citizens in the New Town community.


"The Success Park will be a building block in the edification of the New Town area, and Jacksonville as a whole," Glover said.Success Park is scheduled to open September 2011.


Education Comes First


S. P. Livingston Elementary improved their Math FCAT scores this year and overall improvement increased the school grade from C to B.


Eugene Butler Middle School merged with Paxon Middle School. The new combined staff spent the summer expanding the school to accommodate the arrival of all the new students.


The B.O.L.D after school program is coordinated by the Boys and Girls Club of North Florida for both S.P. Livingston Elementary and Eugene Butler Middle School. Last year B.O.L.D students participated in:

  • Trips to Washington D.C. and Jacksonville University
  • Extra homework help
  • The Duval Urban Debate League
  • The STEM Program at UNF
  • The honors program for honor roll students

Neighborhood of Promise Sulfur Springs

Ground Breaking for Latyla's House
Ground Breaking for Latyla's House


With the right support and tools, every child can succeed

In 2008, a team of community leaders were brought together to create a comprehensive plan for success in Sulphur Springs. They developed a pipeline to success spanning from birth to college/career. The pipeline closely aligns education and social services, recognizing that when children's safety, health and wellness needs are being met, they're better able to focus on learning.


Initial efforts focused on children attending Sulphur Springs Elementary. The Tampa YMCA's Sulphur Springs Community Learning Center (CLC) provides elementary students with a safe and secure environment for afterschool and summer programming that engages students in hands-on skill-building activities. Additionally, the CLC provides support for teachers, from acting as liaisons with parents to providing thanks during teacher appreciation days.


These efforts at Sulphur Springs Elementary led to the next phase - addressing the pressing needs of the youngest community members. Too many children were entering kindergarten unprepared and playing catch-up in the classroom. Layla's House is an early childhood community learning center that provides parents and their children ages birth to 5 with child development workshops, parent support groups and parent-child literacy programs.


There are also plans for a middle school mentoring program to provide a safety net for transitioning fifth graders, childcare and daycare services for young families, and improved access to health services for families.

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It Takes A Village

To touch the life of every child in Sulphur Springs takes the dedication of many volunteers and tremendous financial support. Current partners range from child health experts and educators to nonprofit organizations and local governments.


The current steering committee:

  • Children's Board of Hillsborough County
  • City of Tampa
  • Conn Memorial Foundation
  • Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County
  • Hillsborough County Public Schools
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Sulphur Springs Neighborhood Association
  • Sulphur Springs Residents
  • Tampa Family Health Centers
  • Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA
  • United Way of Tampa Bay


Sulphur Springs Neighborhood Facts

  • More than 40 percent of families are at or below federal poverty level
  • Median household income is $21,700
  • More criminal activity than most areas in Tampa

Approximately 6,308 residents:

  • 49% are children under 19
  • 10% of children are under the age of 5
  • 99% of children attending Sulphur Springs Elementary are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch
  • 35% of students are performing on/above grade level in reading
  • 53% of students are performing on/above grade level in math



Research and design of the Community Learning Center model

Major funding partners invest to launch CLC

Arrival of Dr. Christi Buell to Sulphur Springs Elementary


CLC opens

Sulphur Springs Elementary goes from an F to a B+ school

Research begins on development of Neighborhood of Promise

Tampa group attends Harlem Children's Zone Conference in New York

First meeting with the Sulphur Springs community to identify needs


Neighborhood of Promise steering committee and work groups established

Submit plan to President Obama's Promise Neighborhoods Program - YMCA's entry received 95.67 points out of possible 100 points

Receive Community Development Block Grant from City of Tampa for Layla's House

Begin fundraising activities for Layla's House

Established Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation Partnership for childhood obesity prevention

2011 Major Plans

Develop a Neighborhood of Promise strategic plan

Build new Layla's House facility

Increase community awareness and action in Neighborhood of Promise

Acquire usage of City of Tampa's Bartholomew Center for an Early Childhood Education Center

Provide additional early childhood education options

Move forward with community forums to establish healthy living programs


Pinellas Children's Initiative

Fairmont Park Elementary 2010 - Year 1 Results:


The Childs Park Community 

Childs Park is a 2.5 square mile section of south St. Petersburg with a total population of 8,412:

  • 85% are African American and 15% are other races
  • 2,078 families
    • 64% having children under 18
    • 67% having a single female head of household

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The School

In June of 2010, a summer program was implemented in Fairmount Park Elementary to serve as the bridge for the 2010-11 school year. The student demographics are 92% African-American and 92% on Free or Reduced Lunch program. As part of the district's quality improvement plan, Fairmount Park Elementary launched a model pre-school as part of a Pre-K - 2nd grade pilot that will provide enhanced educational and family support. Fairmont Park Elementary School was the intervention school and Lakewood Elementary School was the comparison school which was determined to be equivalent with regard to the type of student body and geographic area.


The Intervention

The intervention consisted of high quality classroom instruction, intensive academic support for students, outreach to and active engagement of parents to support academic work at home, and early identification and attention to behavioral issues at school.


The Results: Academic

Reading: The metric for academic success in reading was the percentage of students in the "green success zone" (reading on grade level) for the three measuring cycles during the academic year. Each grade level was tested during each cycle. For each grade level and for each cycle, students at Fairmont Park performed better than their counterparts at Lakewood. For example, by Cycle 3, 85% of kindergarten students at Fairmont Park were reading on grade level, compared to 40% at Lakewood; 72% of first graders at Fairmont Park were reading on grade level compared to 25% at Lakewood, and 76% of second graders at Fairmont Park were reading on grade level compared to 61% at Lakewood.  

Math: The metric for academic success in math was the percentage of second grade students only who achieved 70% or more correct answers on the standardized math test over three testing periods. By the final testing period, 44% of students at Fairmont achieved this level of success compared to only 22% of students at Lakewood.


The Results: Behavior

Disciplinary Incidents: The metric for discipline was the number of disciplinary incidents which included referrals to the principal's office, in-school and out-of-school suspension, and dismissals. None of the students in Fairmont Park had disciplinary incidents during the school year compared to 4% of kindergarten students, 25% of first grade students and 41% of second grade students at the comparison school.


Miami Children's Initiative 

In early spring, the Miami Children's Initiative (MCI) opened its administrative offices in the Joseph Caleb Center and MCI staff attended The Incredible Years, a training seminar on early childhood development. Board member Dr. Cathia Darling also attended the training. 


In May, MCI hosted two community events to introduce MCI to the families and residents of Liberty City. The events were a great success; with 120 residents attending "Road to the Dream" Family Fun Day at Partners for Youth Park and 205 attending "Dare to Dream" at the Joseph Caleb Center.


In June, MCI held two Community Information Forums to engage leadership from city and county government agencies, Miami Dade public schools, the higher education community and directors from the Early Learning Centers; 115 community leaders, advocates and educators attended the forums which were held at the Joseph Caleb Center and the Little Haiti Cultural Center. The Provider Information Forum was held on June 29 in the Joseph Caleb Auditorium. These Community Information Forums lay the foundation for building professional partnerships that will support community development efforts in Liberty City.


The MCI executive management team and several members from the board of directors attended the Practitioner's Institute at New York City's Harlem Children's Zone to learn best practices for both education reform and community revitalization. During the three day seminar, the MCI team attended presentations by HCZ department directors on community engagement, evaluation, pre-school and elementary school programming, fiscal management and fundraising. The group observed an HCZ afterschool site with multiple levels of youth development activities, and observed and participated in classroom sessions with parents who were taking part in the HCZ Baby College nine week parent training course. The three day experience, June 9-11, proved to be both inspirational and professionally gratifying for all who attended.


"I was so impressed with the degree of engagement the HCZ staff had with both the youth and parent participants they served. Although extremely personable, it was clear that staff at every level of the 'pipeline', from the Baby College to the Transition to High School program, are professionally driven and have embraced the HCZ promise to graduate all youth from college," said Dr. Cathia Darling, member of the MCI board of directors.


"As a resident and parent in Liberty City, I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this experience and play an active role in impacting my community for the better. I realize now how my children should have the same quality programming," said Shawonda Dean, MCI board of directors.MCI Logo


 "It's an empowering feeling to see the fruits of years of hard work come to fruition. Clearly the HCZ leadership deserves kudos for their dedication, persistence and commitment to not compromising their mission or their pursuit to raise the bar for youth development programming across the country," said Renee Ward, MCI President/CEO.


The MCI team is making great strides toward coordinating a system of service delivery that supports the families and children of Liberty City.


For more information, visit MCI's new website at www.miamichildrensinitiative.org.