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Lockheed Martin Volunteers Encourage STEM Education and Community Involvement

Lockheed Martin volunteers provided a facelift to nine Orlando nonprofit agencies and mentored students at a technology fair for Lockheed Martin Volunteers  as part of the United Way's annual Day of Caring.


Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.


Their volunteer efforts directly impact more than 260,000 Central Florida residents who depend on the goods and services provided by these nonprofit agencies each year. Lockheed Martin employees, families and friends painted, landscaped and repaired the facilities, while also hosting a technology fair at the Orlando Downtown Recreation Complex.

Volunteers at Technology FairThe technology fair was designed to motivate Parramore Kidz Zone students to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities. Approximately 75 local students participated in flight simulations, a FIRST Robotics presentation, career discussions and a science show.  


Orlando Magic Welcomes PKZ!

Orlando Magic and PKZ Children

Thank you to Orlando Magic for inviting PKZ youth onto the court to help lead the National Anthem at the recent Orlando Magic vs Detroit Pistons basketball game


 PKZ Dragon Boat Wins Inspirational Award


PKZ Dragon Boat   
While most rowing teams are packing up their paddles for the winter, there are those that travel to WALT DISNEY WORLD® for one last paddling adventure of the season. Located in Downtown Disney West Side, the Walgreens Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival attracts recreational and competitive teams from all over North America and has been the catalyst for many new team start-ups in the Orlando area. Participation at the one day regatta doubled from the previous three years to 70 local and traveling teams. Teams traveled from as far away as New York and Nova Scotia.


Orlando's Teen Dragon Boating Program is expanding with the participation of PKZ youth under the leadership of Andrea Eliscu. 14 PKZ youth participated in the event led by Team Captain Sasha Mills. Training and rowing assistance was provided by the Orlando Police Department SWAT officers. Out of the 70 participating teams, the PKZ team was honored with the 2012 Inspirational Award and won second place in their division finals. Congratulations to all!


Greg Darnieder visits PKZ
Greg Darnieder Presentation  

U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's senior advisor Greg Darnieder recently toured the Central Florida area in an effort to promote the College Access Initiative. Darnieder's previous efforts include the Center for Impact Research, The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund, the Cabrini Green Public Housing Development, and the Department of College and Career Preparation with Chicago Public Schools.

During his visit, Darnieder gave a presentation to the Orlando City Council then visited Valencia College, Nap Ford Community School, New Image Youth Center, Page 15, the UCF College of Education Reading Program and the Orange County Public Schools' City Year program. He participated in several roundtable discussions including a talk with PKZ youth and shared ideas with PKZ staff for increasing high school graduation and college completion rates among Parramore youth.

Darnieder was especially impressed by the quality of the people and the work they are doing for the organizations he visited. He admired the extent of collaboration taking place at all levels of government, private sector, the school district, local universities, area non-profits and the foundational role youth play in the work being done to improve the lives of children and families in Central Florida.


Miami Children's Initiiative 


MCI Introduces Inaugural Newsletter

It is with a great deal of pride and enthusiasm that the MCI team shares their first newsletter titled In the Zone.  To read the latest MCI news and events click on the following link to access the full newsletter http://www.miamichildrensinitiative.org/newsletter/InTheZone-Issue1.pdf


Every month, MCI will publish a newsletter targeting the youth, residents and families in the impact zone in order to educate and inform the community about things that matter most to them. The newsletter willMiami Children's Initiative Logo  profile 4-5 Liberty City residents which will include a child, the child's family member, the child's teacher, and a local Liberty City business,  musician, artist, or an equivalent. The goal is to begin to tell a story about the Liberty City community through its people, businesses and partnerships.  The newsletter will also feature services, programs, resources, and events available to impact zone residents each month.  MCI projects and activities will be interwoven throughout the newsletter.


The Miami Children's Initiative Launches Liberty City Renaissance

Liberty City Renaissance is a celebration of African-American culture that promotes existing Liberty City artists while encouraging the creativity and proliferation of emerging artists.


A new $75,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge, provides The Miami Children's Initiative and its partners with the opportunity to demonstrate that Liberty City is a community that embraces the arts and supports the production and presentation of works by visual and performing artists, especially those linked to its rich African-American heritage.



New Town Success Zone 


Edward Waters College debuts Success Park

After over a year of construction, Jacksonville's Success Park recently opened following a month-long postponement due to heavy rain. The grand opening was well attended by local officials, children and residents of the New Town community.


The ceremony began with the Edward Waters College's Triple Threat Drumline accompanied by Mayor Alvin Brown, EWC President Nat Glover and NTSZ director Irvin Cohen. They processed down Pearce West Street signaling the park's completion.


13 months after breaking ground, Mayor Brown, President Glover, NTSZ co-chair Pam Paul, parent representative Peggy Wade and Boys and Girls Club children cut the ribbon that opened Success Park.


Success Park provides a safe place for children to play in Jacksonville's

New Town community. NTSZ's Irvin Cohen said, "A safe place for children to play was one of the needs the New Town community identified during a health survey in 2010." The 2-acre park is on the campus of EWC at the corner of Pearce Street and Third Street. The park and equipment will be maintained by EWC. Cohen said, "The location plays a major role in the park's success. In order to have a true neighborhood and a true community, a park is the true foundation."


Success Park is a collaborative initiative between EWC and the city of Jacksonville as part of the New Town Success Zone program.New Town Success Zone Logo  NTSZ follows the philosophy of the Harlem Children's Zone and serves to provide the community youth wrap -around services from health care to education with the goal of improving graduation and college attendance rates.


To read the New Town Success Zone newsletter, click here.