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.
Story Courtesy of Cleveland.com
This Sunday, families in two area neighborhoods will awaken to the rumbling of 14 semi-trucks as they roll in loaded down with brand-spanking-new bikes.
Posted in Charity, Community, Neighborhoods, Poverty, Youth
Tagged Akron, bicycling community, Children, Christmas present, Elves & More, Huffy bike, Kids, Neighborhoods, new bikes, Northeast Ohio, Stark and Cuyahoga countie, Summit County, Volunteers
Akron’s Kenmore neighborhood will undergo a two-day transformation Sept. 1 and 2 as it hosts Better Block, a neighborhood engagement effort in which residents will reshape and reactivate their community’s built environment.
Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance will host a kickoff meeting May 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Rialto Theatre at 1000 Kenmore Boulevard. Residents, business and property owners, and other stakeholders are invited to share their ideas for the business district. More information about the kickoff event is available at www.facebook.com/AkronBetterBlock.
Posted in Community, Neighborhoods
Tagged Akron, Better Block, community support, David Hoppe, Jason Roberts, Jason Segedy, Kenmore, Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance, Neighborhoods, urban design
Summit Art Space Akron
On August 18th, Project RISE hosted a special 25th Anniversary Celebration Event at the Summit Art Space in Akron. The event was well attended with around 80 people. The event included delicious refreshments from Waterloo Catering Company and a musical performance by Project RISE community partner Tracey Thomas-Shephard. Attendees were community members, collaborators and community partners, Project RISE Staff Members and also families served by Project RISE.
Project RISE (Realizing Individual Strength through Education), under the Office of Student Services, is a collaborative effort by Akron Public Schools, local shelters, and the community. The first demonstration grant was received in 1991. It is a federally funded program, facilitated by Ohio Department of Education, through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act: Education for Homeless Children and Youth Programs. The main purpose is to remove barriers to the educational process and success of students who have lost their housing due to hardship.
Posted in Community, Education, Homelessness, Youth
Tagged Akron Public Schools, Community, Education, Homelessness, Neighborhoods, Project RISE, Safe Landing Girls Shelter, Students, Summit Art Space
Story by Tom Crain
Education beyond K-12
Educational requirements for Summit County refugees 18 years and older are serviced through Project Learn, an organization spearheading the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) instruction. Project Learn is part of Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) through the state of Ohio and is funded by the Ohio Board of Regents. It also receives support from United Way of Summit County, GAR and Akron Community Foundation.
Project Learn partners with local refugee resettlement organizations, including International Institute of Akron (IIA), Asian Services in Action (ASIA) and World Relief, to administer classes. There are 64 different countries represented in Project Learn’s ESOL program, with over 40 languages spoken. At any one time, there are 20 classes held at various sites throughout the county, with a current enrollment of 550 students, many of whom are refugees.
Posted in Community, Education, Neighborhoods
Tagged Adult Basic and Literacy Education, Akron, Akron Community Foundation, Asian Services in Action, Bhutanese, Community, Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages, GAR, International Institute of Akron, Languages, Neighborhoods, Nepal, nepali, North Hill, Project Learn, Refugees, Summit County, United Way of Summit County, World Relief