PCUL Staff and Rotary Club of Saint Petersburg Midtown Read to JPASS

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On Wednesday, April 4, 2012, Jordan Park After School Success (JPASS) Program was the surprise recipients of books and a reading session led by local businessman, Mr. Gershom Faulkner and staff from the Pinellas County Urban League.  Books were donated by the Rotary Club of Saint Petersburg Midtown, which accepts the Rotary International motto and challenge to place Service Above Self.  Mr. Faulkner and Urban League staffer, Michael Adekunle, are charter members of the club, which has become more visible since forming last November.  Individual members donated books after being inspired by Rotary International’s support of literacy projects and promotion of March as Literacy Month.

According to Faulkner, who is also a member of the Black-on-Black Task Force at the Pinellas County Urban League, “if everyone gives a little toward making the world a better place, we could do so much.”  This, and other ideas from the Task Force, serves as the focus for work performed by BOBCPP staff.  Preventing crime is neither a onetime act, nor is it the sole responsibility of any one entity.  A small part of preventing crime and making the world a better place rests in supporting youth in their pursuit of dreams and goals that inspire greatness.

Students and adults shared in reading from the book, The Little Engine That Could.  This childhood favorite for many is indeed still a classic and joy for youngsters.  The youth, ranging in age from five years to twelve, chuckled and rooted for the little blue engine to make it over the mountain to deliver the toys and food to all the fictitious children in the valley.  Adekunle stressed that the youth, “should never lose your desire to read.  It is your ticket to anywhere.  Reading supports your dreams and turns them into reality.”

You can get involved.  Contact the Pinellas County Urban League at (727) 327-2081 extension 119 or by e-mail to madekunle@pcul.org.  For more information about the Pinellas County Urban League, please visit www.pcul.org.  Rotary International information is found at www.Rotary.org.

BOBCPP Attends Mavericks High Community Vendor Fair

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On Thursday March 8, 2012 staff participated as a vendor in the Maverick High School Community Resource Fair from 9:30 AM until 2:30 PM.  Filling in for the Pinellas County Urban League’s Career Connection Center, staff had a great time interacting with students, faculty and administrators at this unique educational facility.  With the resource fair serving as a platform for disseminating general organizational information and offering specifics about programs interesting to youth , this opportunity was a good match for the BOBCPP. Staff is grateful for the assistance of Ms. Paysha Royal, a student at Mavericks High School, for her work gathering student signatures, stuffing bags and offering various handouts provided to her classmates. 

 

Mavericks High Schools were established to provide an educational choice to students who have dropped out of school or may be in danger of dropping out. Using 21st Century technology and a focus on individualized attention, Mavericks High Schools offer students, who are challenged by the traditional approach to learning, the opportunity to earn a state-recognized high school diploma. This high-tech high provides students, ages 15-21, a strong research-based curriculum and support for pursuing continuing education or a suitable vocation.   Mavericks High places a high degree of importance upon core curriculum toward the achievement of competency in the fundamental subjects that are necessary for gainful employment and/or continuing education. High school graduation is the acknowledgment and the reward for meeting the benchmarks established that define a level of competency in all required high school subject areas. A high school diploma confirms an important and recognized milestone of academic achievement.

 

Students who have elected to attend Mavericks High Schools, like so many students in urban areas, face many challenges.  Administrators provided the fair to expose the students to a wide variety of resource options that exist to help them in achieving their goals.  Also represented at the event were the Pinellas County Public Health Office, Sickle Cell Anemia Society, Operation PAR, Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections, ASAP, and more.  More than most, these students recognize that they control their destiny, and they work hard to ensure personal success.  Consequently, there was a lot of foot traffic to the table.

 

Staff became engaged in the stories of individual students by discussing their goals, listening to their challenges and offering suggestions for surmounting a variety of problems presented.

 

Students demonstrated interest in winning a raffle of a $25.00 Visa gift card.  Sixty-three people became eligible for the drawing.  Ms. Joyce Jones was the selected winner of the raffle, and has picked up her winnings at the League’s headquarters building, located at 333 -31st Street North in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

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Founded in 1977, the Pinellas County Urban League is the premier social service and civil rights organization in Pinellas County.  We are one of the National Urban League’s network of non-profit, community-based affiliates located throughout the united states.  The Urban League is a member agency of United Way since 1981.  The League operates social service programs throughout Pinellas County and serves those in need of career development, education, employment services, tutoring, energy assistance, crime prevention services, health screening and education services and housing weatherization.  More information about the Urban League can be obtained from our website, www.pcul.org or by calling (727) 327-2081.