Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Yvonne Brandon, along with a collaborative of community organizations, announced today the intent to submit a Promise Neighborhood planning grant application to the U.S. Department of Education for the city’s East End.
More from the press release:
President Barack Obama will launch an initiative to create 20 Promise Neighborhoods in areas that have high levels of poverty and crime, and low levels of student academic achievement, in cities across the nation. Based on the highly acclaimed Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City, the Promise Neighborhood Initiative will provide a full network of services to entire needy neighborhoods from birth to college.
“Our initiative is called, ‘Richmond’s Promise: East End Children’s Zone,’ and our collaborative approach will ensure the strongest possible outcome for our efforts,” said Mayor Jones. “Our short term goal is to position Richmond’s East End to compete successfully for education dollars. Our long term goal is to end generational poverty, improve children’s achievement in school, and provide young people and their parents with opportunities associated with neighborhoods with greater resources.”
The Promise Neighborhoods will seek to engage all resident children and their parents into an achievement program based on tangible goals, including matriculation to college for each and every participating student, strong physical and mental health outcomes for children as well as retention of meaningful employment and parenting schools for parents.
“The Richmond Planning team has been meeting for nearly a year in preparation for the application”, said Lynn McAteer, V.P Planning of Better Housing Coalition, the convening organization. “The team has gone through a rigorous process to select the East End and we feel that our application will be extremely competitive; we’ve been able to get wide range of support from neighborhood, local, and state officials.”
The Planning Team has identified Woodville Elementary School as the centerpiece of Richmond’s Promise: East End Children’s Zone (EECZ). This important choice was based on the school’s record of achievement, leadership and commitment to an integrated partnership with EECZ and shared responsibility for children.
The grant application is due on June 25th with awards being announced in September 2010.