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Promise Neighborhood Advisory Council Formed


Macon Children’s Promise Neighborhood
March 24, 2010

Members of the Advisory Council for the Macon Children’s Promise Neighborhood initiative met from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM at Ingram-Pye Elementary School.

Members present: Travis Blackwell (Community Partnership), Peter Brown (Mercer University), Gigi Cabell, Doris Christopher (Georgia College and State University), Chip Cherry (Chamber of Commerce), Tammie Collins (United Way), Dianna Glymph (Big Brother/Big Sisters), Ursula Harris (Bibb County Schools), Shannon Harvey (Riveredge), Baheeja Hasan (Ingram-Pye Elementary School), Mike Killen (Boys and Girls Clubs), Ann Levett (Macon State College), Pamela Lightsey (U.S. Attorney’s office), Cathy Magouyrk (Bibb County Schools), Julie Moore (Education First), Robert Reichert (Mayor), Kathleen Varda (Riveredge), Annie Walker (resident)

Peter Brown presented information on the connections between the Promise Neighborhood initiative and the revised HOPE VI and new Choice Neighborhoods programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (see attached). He also commented on the opportunity that the recently approved School Improvement funding for Southwest High School provides for moving the Promise Neighborhood initiative forward.

Cathy Magouyrk (Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction) stressed the importance of community partnerships for the success of school reform and transformation. In particular, the application by the Bibb Schools for funding through the new Investing in Innovation (i3) program of the U.S. Department of Education must include community partnerships. She discussed the possibility that the Bibb i3 application might focus on Southwest High School and its feeder schools in order to complement and strengthen the Promise Neighborhood focus on Ingram-Pye Elementary, Ballard-Hudson Middle, and Southwest High schools.

With these positive developments before it—and with the vigorous exhortation of Mayor Reichert to get down to brass tacks—the Council appointed the following Committee chairs and members. Each chair is empowered to approach other members of the Council or other community members to recruit them to serve.

Executive Committee: Julie Moore (chair), Cathy Magouyrk (vice-chair), Peter Brown (secretary)
Planning and Implementation Committee: Travis Blackwell (chair), Pamela Lightsey, Ursula Harris; Dianna Glymph; Julie Moore
Neighborhood Committee: Baheeja Hasan (chair), Annie Walker, Ann Levett; Ursula Harris
Partnership Committee: Dianna Glymph (chair), Mike Killen, Tammie Collins
Fund-Raising Committee: Doris Christopher (chair), Chip Cherry, Mayor Reichert
Grant-Writing Committee: Kathleen Varda (chair), Shannon Harvey, Gigi Cabell

Shannon Harvey offered help with project management and facilitation. The group accepted the offer without dissent. The Council also decided to hold an evening retreat (4-9 PM) soon to analyze the available academic data on Southwest area students, neighborhood demographics, existing neighborhood assets and needs, and available community resources, with the intention of identifying gaps in service and leverage points for investment. Chip Cherry volunteered to host the retreat at the Chamber of Commerce and provide food. Ms. Harvey was asked to facilitate the retreat and agreed.

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