Dear Cleveland project hears from Central teens

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Dear Cleveland project hears from Central teens

Rachel Dissell and Brie Zeltner of The Plain Dealer visited Friendly Inn to talk with high school students in Central, as part of the paper’s ongoing “Dear Cleveland” project.

Dissell said the Dear Cleveland name was inspired by a previous conversation with teens at Martin Luther King Jr. High School, in which one student suggested that they wish they could write a letter to Clevelanders to show them the parts of the city that they don’t see in the media.DearCLE_friendlyInn

“Cleveland’s children have a lot to say to the adults around them, about what’s wrong, and right, in their lives,” Dissell and Zeltner write in The Plain Dealer. “They also have ideas about how to fix what they see that’s not working.

At Friendly Inn, Dissell and Zeltner asked students to highlight elements of the community that they saw as strengths, and then list things that they would like to change, if they could.

Among Central’s strengths, according to the students, were community centers like Friendly Inn, and the close-knit ties of the people in Central. They said they would like to change a number of things, including gun violence, gang activity and the prevalence of drugs. Dissell and Zeltner encouraged conversation to elaborate on these points, prompting students to talk about their experiences with both the positive and the negative, and how they may be able to tell the stories that the rest of Cleveland doesn’t know.

Thanks to The Plain Dealer for including the voices of Promise in the Dear Cleveland project.

If you have a story of your own you’d like to share, contact Dear Cleveland:

Apply Now for CSU Scholarship for Central Residents

Apply Now for CSU Scholarship for Central Residents

Cleveland State University is offering two scholarships, including four years of tuition, to two deserving high school students who live in the Central neighborhood. If that’s you, or someone you know, click here to apply.


From Cleveland State University’s Office of Civic Engagement, here is more information:

Fueled by the University’s commitment to increasing educational opportunities in the Central Promise Neighborhood, the Office of Civic Engagement is excited to collaborate with the community on improving academic achievement.

With the recent launch of the TEDxClevelandStateUniversity Commits initiative in partnership with the nearby, historic Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood came the construction of two new endeavors.

  1. Two full scholarships, including four years of tuition, to two deserving graduating high school seniors that reside in the Central neighborhood of Cleveland.
  2. Opportunities for the youth of the Central neighborhood to visit the Cleveland State campus. We have set out to provide an up-close, personal look at college for the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood through our welcoming staff, brilliant faculty and engaged students. This partnership was created to make college a tangible, desired expectation rather than just a dream for the youth.

This collaboration between the university and Central neighborhood is aimed at increasing higher education opportunities for the neighborhood’s youth. The scholarship will be awarded to the students that display a clear commitment to their education, promising academic success and embody the spirit of the Central Promise Neighborhood.

Program Oversight:

The Cleveland State University Central Neighborhood Scholarship will be administered by the Office of Civic Engagement under the direction of the Director of Community Partnerships in collaboration with the Office of University Advancement, the Office of Student Affairs, and other appropriate departments.

Expectations of Scholarship Recipients:

The scholarship will be awarded to two students entering their freshmen year at Cleveland State University in Fall 2018. These students will have the opportunity to retain their scholarships up to their senior years in 2022-2023. Recipients must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and satisfactorily complete 12 credit hours per semester. It is also expected for them to continue presence in the Central Community through civic engagement. Furthermore, it is required that students establish a mentor in the Central Community and keep a record of contact. The scholarship is renewable provided that scholars remain in good academic standing and successfully complete their assigned projects.

Eligibility Requirements:

To qualify for a scholarship, students:

  • Must be Citizens of the United States or permanent residents.
  • Must be members of the Central Neighborhood (Proof of Residency (2 Forms) – acceptable Forms: School records, utility bill, voter registration card, any document issued by this State or county, city, or the federal government, housing lease or contract, mortgage statement, property or income tax statement.
  • Must have applied or have been accepted to Cleveland State University and intend to enroll full-time at CSU following high school graduation.
  • Must be graduating from Central Neighborhood’s core high schools by June 2018.
  • Demonstrating superior scholastic ability with a GPA Range: 3.2 or above on a 4.0 scale.  Please send official transcript.
  • Submit an essay of no more that 1,500 words that serves as evidence of leadership and involvement, outstanding character, service to community and school).
    • Briefly describe your future plans.
    • Please detail your recent leadership experience.

Don’t wait until summer; register for kindergarten now

Don’t wait until summer; register for kindergarten now

March into Kindergarten is a county-wide initiative to encourage parents to register their children for kindergarten in the spring, rather than waiting until summer to make a last-minute registration for the new school year.

Kindergarten registration and requirements in Cuyahoga County, Ohio

You want your child to get the best start. That’s why it’s so important to register in the Spring, long before school begins. You might be wondering what necessary paperwork is required and where can you get the answers you need. Below you’ll find general information on kindergarten registration and requirements in Ohio.

Why register for kindergarten now?

Kindergarten is a child’s first school experience. You want it to be pleasant – not last-minute and chaotic. Your child needs to be comfortable with the school and the teacher. By registering your child for kindergarten now you can be sure that:

  • All the necessary paperwork is in: You have time to secure and submit the needed records so there’s no rush or problem getting the necessary information.
  • The school is prepared: Schools plan in the spring and need to know how many teachers to hire and how many supplies they’ll need. They often provide screenings to ensure that the child receives the best learning experience and resources.
  • You know about school policies, special programs, activities, and services: You understand the school’s policies, procedures and schedules. Some schools have summer programs to help children get ready for school. There may be school supply giveaways. Or your child may qualify for special services to give them an extra boost.

Having all these affairs in order means that you, your child, the teacher, and the school avoid last-minute stress!

How do I register my child for kindergarten?

Visit the March into Kindergarten website to register or to connect with your local school district. CMSD schools can also register on the CMSD website.

What do I need?

Most schools require:

  • Birth certificate: available in Cuyahoga County from the City of Cleveland Bureau of Vital Statistics
  • Immunization records: from the child’s doctor or clinic
  • Proof of residence: *Varies by district. Driver’s license, state ID or passport plus 2 of these: utility bill, rental agreement, mortgage, deed, tax statement, payroll form, etc.
  • Guardianship records (if needed): Court documentation, divorce decree, shared parenting plan, caretaker authorization. May need to be notarized.

For more information, visit the March into Kindergarten website, or dial 2-1-1.

Teachers/residents – please share the below fliers with families:

For new police, Reverse Ride-Along shines a light on Cleveland

For new police, Reverse Ride-Along shines a light on Cleveland

Forty-seven recruits to the Cleveland Police Department have a new outlook on some of the city’s communities, thanks to the Reverse Ride-Along project coordinated by Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood; Jan Thrope, community activist and founder of Inner Visions Cleveland; Jerry Pena of Neighborhood Connections; and Barbara Anderson, chair of Another Chance of Ohio.

The program is a re-imagining of the traditional police ride along as it reverses roles and enables the community to set the tone and tour stops highlighting people, places and resources they would like to introduce to Cleveland’s newest police officers.


Through visits to community centers and conversations with residents, the recruits had the opportunity to learn more about what some of Cleveland’s neighborhoods have to offer, and how police can work together with the community.

“The tour changed my thoughts,” said one recruit in a follow-up survey. “Seeing how the community is willing to help bridge the gap shows great strides in a positive direction.”

Recruits spent time during their morning at William Patrick Day in Central, reading books to young children and engaging in conversation with residents that focused on working together to ensure the safety of neighborhood children.RRA_wmpatrickday

“This helped show me that the community is eager to speak to us and has many ideas about how we can help,” said another recruit. “We just have to listen.”

The group visited the Rid-All Green Partnership, an anchor in Cleveland’s Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone. A stop in Glenville yielded a conversation with the Peacemakers Alliance, and over lunch at Third Federal, recruits learned about Slavic Village’s p-16 cradle to career initiative.


At the Cudell Recreation Center, one of the recruits met a student who has roots in the same Middle Eastern city. Through a conversation in Arabic, the two connected and embraced before the recruits left.

“We started the Reverse Ride-Along with the intention of showing the resilience and positivity that exists in Cleveland that these officers may never get a chance to see,” said Joe Black, Promise neighborhood engagement manager. “It just takes one conversation for both the officers and the residents to realize that we’re all working toward the same goals.”

A photographer from The Plain Dealer joined the group at a few of the stops. View more photos here.