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.
This November, Project Rise and Kenmore-Garfield High School hosted the 11th Annual Project Rise Harvest Dinner for the students and families experiencing homelessness. The Harvest Dinner gives these families and youth the opportunity to celebrate this festive time of year with food, fun and friendship. The evening included arts and literacy activities, parent-child activities, Thanksgiving dinner, giveaways, and entertainment. Altogether, around 125 attendees enjoyed the special evening!
Posted in Charity, Education, Food, Homelessness, Youth
Tagged Akron, Akron Public Schools, Cheryl Marez, Community, Curriculum Specialist of the Culinary Program, Education, Families, Family Career & Community Leaders of America, Harvest Dinner, Homelessness, Kenmore-Garfield High School, Local shelters, Mr. David Skelly, Ohio Department of Education, Project RISE, Students, Summit County Public Library, University of Akron, Volunteers
Buchtel High School Students present mats at the Haven of Rest
During this past school year, a talented group of students made sleeping mats out of plastic bags as a part of a service project. The students were part of Teddy Nantambi Mwonyonyi’s Family & Consumer Sciences class at Buchtel High School. The class consisted of 7th and 8th grade students.
The mats that the students made were donated to the Haven of Rest in Akron. Staff from Project Rise and the class of young students attended a tour of the Haven of Rest after presenting their donation of mats. Project Rise is a collaborative effort by Akron Public Schools, local shelters, and the Akron community to provide supplemental educational services to children and youth experiencing homelessness.
Posted in Charity, Education, Homelessness, Youth
Tagged Akron Public Schools, Buchtel High School, Children, Community, Donations, Family & Consumer Sciences class, Harvest Home, Haven of Rest, Homelessness, Local shelters, Michael Solosky, Plarn Mats, Project RISE, Teddy Nantambi Mwonyonyi’s, Youth
Craft Project Planned and Implemented
by the Project Rise Interns.
On February 26th, the annual Project Rise Parent RISE-ing Soul food dinner was held at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church, serving students and families experiencing homelessness. For the past 8 years, Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church has graciously hosted the event for families served by Project Rise.
Posted in Community, Education, Food, Youth
Tagged African American History, Akron, Akron Public Schools, Algonquin Spinners and Weavers, Carrollton, Community, Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church, North High School, nurturing environment, Ohio, Ohio Department of Education, Parents, Project RISE, Rachel Breece, Soul Food, Students