In 1997, all living presidents, joined by 26 governors, 92 mayors, and delegations from 145 communities launched the America’s Promise Alliance, dedicated to the belief that every child should have the chance to succeed, and every adult has the responsibility to make it happen. The organization’s Founding Chair General Colin L. Powell (Ret.) and current Chair Alma J. Powell, hosted America’s Promise Alliance’s 20th anniversary celebration on April 17-18 in New York City, to focus on progress that has been made and challenges that remain to make the promise of America real for every child.
At the event, General and Mrs. Powell presented Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ) with the Powell Legacy Award, which included a $50,000 donation to PKZ, to recognize “organizations and communities that provide outstanding models to the nation, programs that General and Mrs. Powell are proud to have as their legacy.” Ms. Lisa Early, Director of Families, Parks and Recreation, accompanied by long time Parramore Kidz Zone participants Raysean Brown and Sasha Mills, attended the event to receive the award on behalf of the City.
According to America’s Promise Alliance, “As you know, America’s Promise Alliance has long studied and admired the work of Parramore Kidz Zone. We applaud their community-wide, holistic approach to improving the lives of young people through research-based preschool and parenting education; tutoring, mentoring, and enrichment programs; college access assistance and jobs programs; and more. The results are beyond impressive.”
America’s Promise Alliance had learned about the success of PKZ via numerous national children’s advocacy groups that became interested in PKZ after President Obama established the Promise Neighborhoods Initiative in 2009, based upon the Harlem Children’s Zone model, which PKZ has emulated. Interest in PKZ culminated in a report issued in 2012 by the White House Council on Community Solutions, which included a section on PKZ’s strategies and accomplishments. Shortly thereafter, the America’s Promise Alliance sent a team from Tufts University to Orlando to carry out an in-depth case study of Parramore Kidz Zone, which was published in 2013.
Mayor Dyer will call upon Ms. Lisa Early, Ms. Brenda March, Mr. Raysean Brown and Ms. Sasha Mills to read a brief statement and present the Powell Legacy Award check to the City. Mayor Dyer and District 5 City Commissioner Regina I. Hill will step down from the dais to accept the award.