Category Archives: Neighborhoods

National Random Acts of Kindness Day

“Be Kind 330” Campaign Kickoff Act of Kindness From GOJO to APS Kicks Off “Be Kind 330”

Akron Public Schools (APS)
Thursday, February 17, 2022 – National Random Acts of Kindness Day

On this National Random Acts of Kindness Day, Akron Public Schools (APS) is the grateful recipient of a wonderful act of kindness. GOJO, the manufacturers of PURELL® hand sanitizer, has made a generous donation of 20,000 bottles of Purell® to APS as a part of the kickoff of Be Kind 330 in Akron. Be Kind 330 is part of the Kindland movement sweeping across Northeast Ohio. The only thing GOJO asks in return is for the faculty, students and staff to pay this act of kindness forward as we spread the Be Kind 330 message throughout Kindland.

“We are proud to make the first official act of kindness by donating Purell® products to help Akron Public Schools staff and students stay healthy and well,” said Carey Jaros, President and CEO, GOJO Industries. “We hope others will join us in supporting the Be Kind 330 program.”

GOJO’s act of kindness comes as Akron Public Schools joins other Northeast Ohio schools, businesses and organizations by sharing the Be Kind 330 message and starting conversations about kindness, caring, respect and generosity of spirit.

Students at Robinson CLC will be the first students who receive PURELL® after their Be Kind 330 kick-off assembly. Students will be involved in group discussions, video elements and hands-on activities that lead to their taking a pledge to stick together and be kind. All other schools will follow with events unique to each school as they, too, take the pledge.

Kindland was begun by the Values-in-Action (VIA) Foundation in Mayfield, Ohio. VIA has provided the district with optional instructional materials for its use in promoting the kindness-encouraging project throughout its schools and APS families. Students, teachers, parents, caregivers and grandparents are also encouraged to document everyday acts of kindness using the Just Be Kind App at JustBeKindApp.com.

“With Be Kind 330, we want to establish a community culture where individuals recognize and celebrate the kindness around us and create an overall pay-it-forward mentality that results in a more kind, caring and respectful community for everyone,” said Akron Public Schools Superintendent Christine Fowler Mack.

Kindland is presented by Values-In-Action Foundation, a non-profit organization that empowers students and adults to build communities of kindness, caring and respect through programs that teach, promote and provide skills and tools to enable individuals to make positive, values-based decisions every day. Since its founding as Project Love in 1994, Values-in-Action (VIA) has trained more than 1.1 million students to lead with values. 

For additional information about Kindland, call 440.463.6205; or visit BeKindland.com.

For information about Be Kind 330, contact Mark Williamson, Akron Public Schools, 330.761.2930 or maw45602@apslearns.org. #BeKind330

38th Annual National Night Out Against Crime, Akron Ohio

On Tuesday, August 3, 2021, Mayor Dan Horrigan and the City of Akron will host the 38th annual National Night Out, a unique event celebrating the importance of neighborhood engagement in Akron. Last year’s event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Night Out (NNO) is an annual community-building campaign, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, that promotes police-community relations and neighborhood unity.  The goal of National Night Out is to strengthen participation in local programs that prevent and deter crime, in an effort to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.

“National Night Out provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “Increasing trust between our residents and our officers has become as important as ever in a year where Akron, like many other cities across the nation, has seen an uptick in violence.  It’s no secret that we face significant challenges related to violent crime and strained community trust, and events like this can help increase transparency and allow for a dialogue between residents and officers.”

The NNO program has deep roots in Akron, where the first NNO event took place in 1984 in East Akron. This year’s program will be scaled down from previous years, featuring events at 5 sites throughout the City. Planning normally begins months in advance for the NNO program but was delayed this year to assure the health and safety of participants. All events will be hosted primarily outdoors.

The sites that will be hosting these events are:

Joy Park Community Center
Organized by: Mike Dowdell
Time: 4 to 8 p.m.
Contact: 330-375-2805 or MDowdell@akronohio.gov

Firestone Park Community Center
Organized by Councilman Donnie Kammer
Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Contact: ward7@akronohio.gov

Ed Davis Community Center:
Organized by: Robert Dowdell
Time: 5 to 8 p.m.
Contact: 330-375-2832 or RDowdell@akronohio.gov

Goodyear Heights:
Organized by: R.I.G.H.T. Committee
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
Contact: 330-784-4012 or SharonConnor

Summit Lake Community Center:
Organized by: Todd Clarke
Time: 4 to 7 p.m.
Contact number: 330-375-2826 or TClark@akronohio.gov 

The National Night Out campaign involves citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic/religious groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations, and local officials. In all, more than 38 million people are expected to participate in NNO in more than 16,000 communities across all 50 states and beyond.  

SUMMIT METRO PARKS CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY

“YOUR BACK YARD FOR 100 YEARS”

Established in 1921, Summit Metro Parks today announced “Your Back Yard for 100 Years,” a year-long commemoration of its centennial anniversary. To mark this milestone occasion, the park district has launched a dedicated website and will offer a full year of events, activities and other opportunities for the community to join the celebration.

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Akron Urban League Welcomes Dr. Jennifer Ross

Dr. Jennifer Ross has been appointed as the Director of Diversity & Strategic Initiatives for the Akron Urban League

Dr. Ross brings more than 20 years of experience in higher education, race theory and policy studies to the newly created position.

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Carson Barnes “make Akron – particularly Summit Lake – a better place.”

Carson Barnes

Story by Scott Myers

Last week I met with Michael Starks and a good friend of his, late morning at Angel Falls. We met to talk about the Board for Michael’s organization SLAAP (Start Living and Acting Positive), which I describe as a non-residential re-entry program.

Since it was a very nice day we sat outside.

While we were talking I heard someone playing the saxophone just up the street.  I was so focused on our conversation about what SLAAP does and how its Board could function that I couldn’t pay much attention to the music.

Our conversation ended when Michael’s friend needed to leave for another engagement. As Michael and I sat enjoying the sunshine, the saxophone player also took a break and wandered over to our table.  No surprise, he and Michael are long-time friends.  Michael introduced me to Carson.  When the topic of our earlier conversation came up Carson said he knows and loves what Michael does, and that he would love to play at a fundraiser for SLAAP.

Later when I left, I passed Carson playing on the bench in front of the apartments.  As we talked he told me about all of the community improvement initiatives he has worked on all across town and how many new ideas he has to make Akron – particularly Summit Lake – a better place.  I asked if I could take his picture.  He said, “Sure,” and started to play his horn.  I said no, let’s just keep talking.

Carson Barnes.  Musician.  Community builder.