PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY TO SUCCESS IN NEW TOWN
The editorial, Partnerships are key to success in New Town was recently published in the Florida Time Union:
Seven years after its founding, the New Town Success Zone uses partnerships to rescue a struggling neighborhood.
Modeled after the Harlem Children's Zone in New York City, New Town began in 2007 with a specific mission - to pave a path to success for the children living within the 15 square blocks bounded by Kings Road, Myrtle Avenue, Beaver Street and CSX's Moncrief Yard.
At that time, one-third of the residents in New Town were unemployed, fewer than half of the 5,000 residents had high school diplomas and the area was plagued by violence. Students had soaring absence rates, missing an average of 12 days per nine-week period.
A hopeful blueprint for improving the area was created. But the recession hit - and funding became scarce.
So Success Zone founders enlisted many partners, such as Baptist Health, Edward Waters College and the Jacksonville Urban League. The changes have been immense, including a 40 percent decrease in crime and major reductions in student absences.
To read the rest of the editorial visit, http://jacksonville.com/opinion/editorials/2015-02-05/story/partnerships-are-key-success-new-town
To view the NTSZ Neighborhood Revitilization Initiative- Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville, Inc. video, click here.
JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT COMMITS TO NEW TOWN
If you're born into a world of limitations because of poverty or financial illiteracy, then what are your chances for a future of greater possibilities?
Junior Achievement of North Florida knows the answer, and it's among the reasons we decided to open our first dedicated financial literacy center.
Furthermore, we will create this financial literacy center in one of Jacksonville's most economically depressed neighborhoods as part of the New Town Success Zone.
Our move into New Town begins with the renovation of the Mitchell Community Center, a project the city's Department of Parks and Recreation will oversee. The renovated facility will be home to the Bank of America/JA Financial Literacy Center.
The name recognizes Bank of America's support for the financial literacy center: a $200,000 grant that Junior Achievement recently received as the bank's 2014 Neighborhood Builders Award recipient. We committed the grant to the New Town center.
Scheduled to be fully operational by 2016, the financial literacy center will expose an estimated 2,500 second and third-graders a year from throughout Jacksonville to topics such as zoning, taxes, banking and personal money management.
Students from all Duval County elementary schools will have the opportunity to view New Town and learn about life from the New Town perspective. Program participants will also "open" their own restaurant, a virtual experience in running a business and learning how money flows through the economy.
We hope to keep them in Junior Achievement as their education progresses and provide financial literacy, workforce preparation and entrepreneurship programs to older students in the future.
We look forward to the Bank of America/JA Financial Literacy Center grand opening in New Town.
While it will mark a new and exciting initiative for Junior Achievement of North Florida, more importantly, the center more will open young minds to a world that's filled with possibilities.
Steve St. Amand, President
Junior Achievement of North Florida