On January 14th we had the pleasure of hosting people from the Promise Neighborhoods (PN) of the Lehigh Valley presenting the progress of this program in our area.
Christian Torres, Coordinator, Bethlehem PN and Ewuradjoa Dawson-Amoah, Data Coordinator, PN of Lehigh Valley addressed the research conducted in our Bethlehem neighborhoods. Areas of focus included surveys of what is currently going on in Bethlehem:
- General Demographics
- Safety and Stability
Program Description - Promise Neighborhoods, established under the federal legislative authority of the Fund for the Improvement of Education Program (FIE), provides funding to support eligible entities, including (1) nonprofit organizations, which may include faith-based nonprofit organizations, (2) institutions of higher education, and (3) Indian tribes.
The vision of the program is that all children and youth growing up in Promise Neighborhoods have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career. The purpose of Promise Neighborhoods is to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth in our most distressed communities, and to transform those communities by—
- Identifying and increasing the capacity of eligible entities that are focused on achieving results for children and youth throughout an entire neighborhood;
- Building a complete continuum of cradle-to-career solutions of both educational programs and family and community supports, with great schools at the center;
- Integrating programs and breaking down agency “silos” so that solutions are implemented effectively and efficiently across agencies;
- Developing the local infrastructure of systems and resources needed to sustain and scale up proven, effective solutions across the broader region beyond the initial neighborhood; and
- Learning about the overall impact of the Promise Neighborhoods program and about the relationship between particular strategies in Promise Neighborhoods and student outcomes, including through a rigorous evaluation of the program.
Christian and Ewuradjoa spoke to the survey results recently completed in the last half of 2015. The Neighborhood areas were focused on Census Tracts in key areas of the city. The City of Bethlehem provided data support which was essential to successful completion of this initial phase. This will allow Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley to make informed and effective decisions with their expansion into Bethlehem.
Their PowerPoint presentation was very informative and lead to a fruitful Q&A session with the membership. Christian and Ewuradjoa were accompanied by Ammar Sharif, Manager, Easton Promise Neighborhood in providing responses to a broad range of questions.
I am sure we will hear more from this Promise Neighborhoods as it moves forward. Thank you to Christian, Ewuradjoa and Ammar for a thought provoking presentation.
Following the Board meeting Wednesday, I gave a brief update to the membership at the meeting Thursday. This will serve to get everyone on the same page.
- Approved a $10,000 grant from the Salute The Troops concert for Victory House. Additionally approved a $250 grant each for the Northeast Middle School Band and Chorus.
- Approved an $8,000 grant from the 25th Anniversary Race for the Special Olympics of Bethlehem. (Please plan to be at the Race Recognition Breakfast on January 28th!)
- Approved release of $1,000 each of budgeted funds for Rotaplast and Shelter Box.
Alex Shnaydruk, Iryna Levytska and daughter Victoria have been forced to relocate to Europe December 31, 2015. Due to issues with the state budget and economic development programs, his position with Lehigh University expired and his work visa status expired. They are currently with Iryna’s parents in Ukraine and moving to the Netherlands when Alex’s Dutch work permit is approved. They plan to return to the United States in a year or two. We will place them on Leave of Absence status until the end of this Rotary year. We hope they will be able to transfer into a new club.
Board of Director Opening
Alex is also a Board member with a Term from 7/1/15 – 6/30/17. Please consider stepping up and serving in this Board capacity to fulfill his term. Contact me if you are interested.
Youth Exchange 2016-17
Approved the District 7430 request that Morning Star Rotary host an Incoming Exchange Student for the next Rotary year. Cheryl Baker has volunteered to be the first host family. Other host families will be needed. (Note there will be no Outbound requirement associated with this request.)
What is Rotary and Morning Star all about?
Invite a Guest
Thursday, January 28th at Gander Room
Watch your email for sign-up & RSVP to Jess Elliott!!!
Save the Date!
RI President K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran of Sri Lanka will be coming to King of Prussia on Tuesday, May 17th, to recognize District 7430 for raising over $2 million for the Rotary International Foundation. District Governor Doug Cook is asking that as many Rotarians as possible attend the celebration that evening.
Please join us on January 21st when Alli Ingram, ReStore Procurement Manager will talk to us about Habitat for Humanity and the ReStore.
If you would like to learn more about either Bethlehem Morning Star or Rotary International, please contact Ron Searfoss at email@example.com or 610-504-1460.
Remember to be a gift to the world!