- 2012 - October - 23rd -
Mayor Alvin Brown (third from left) on Monday announces a two-day education summit Feb. 28 and March 1 and a goal of raising $2 million for education initiatives. Many education stakeholders attended the announcement including, from left, City Education Commissioner Donnie Horner and Duval County School Board members Tommy Hazouri, Fred Lee, Martha Barrett and W.C. Gentry.
Photo by David Chapman
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Summit to raise awareness, $2 million for education

by David Chapman, Staff Writer

Mayor Alvin Brown announced a two-day summit early next year that will focus on improving the quality of education and raising $2 million to fund education initiatives.

Comedian Bill Cosby will assist the efforts and be in town during the Feb. 28 and March 1 summit, Brown also announced.

During the first day of the summit, Cosby will visit with students, teachers, administrators and other education stakeholders, and give a public performance.

Donnie Horner, City education commissioner, said that Cosby’s schedule is not yet finalized, but plans are for him to visit an elementary, middle and high school among his stops.

The second day will feature workshops with education leaders, community partners, parents and students to create an action plan on how to implement education initiatives.

“I have seen this many, many times before. When everyone in a city pulls together, we get great results,” said Cosby through a news release about the summit.

Brown said that with a transition of members on the Duval County School Board and incoming Superintendent Nikolai Vitti soon starting, the time was right for such a summit to be scheduled.

Horner said the $2 million hopefully will be raised before the two-day summit and would be applied toward education initiatives such as Learn2Earn, a weeklong summer program hosted by local universities to expose low-to-moderate income students to college, the Mayor’s Mentors program geared toward increasing volunteer mentorship, and potentially a academy that will provide training and advice to young parents.

Horner said as an example that funds could expand the Learn2Earn program from 200 participants to 500 and “really strengthen what we’re trying to do” to improve the quality of education.

Brown also mentioned the possibility of some funds being distributed to assist teachers in the classroom for purchasing materials.

Many of the details regarding the schedule of events will be finalized in the coming months, Brown and Horner said.



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