Promise welcomes new Ambassador class

Promise welcomes new Ambassador class

In the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood, we work to build a cradle to career pipeline for the residents and families of Central, a transformative model intended to build a healthier community.

We recognize that residents must lead the change to be truly impactful in our neighborhood, and our Ambassador program empowers community leaders who serve as partners in designing and implementing the work.

At the May Promise Advisory Council meeting, we welcomed those who recently completed training and are now Promise Ambassadors, bringing our total count to nearly 70 ambassadors.

Congratulations to our latest Promise Ambassadors:

  • Aneesha Lynn Coleman
  • Prisicella Fayne
  • Julius Warfield
  • Yvette Duke
  • Charmaine Jordan
  • Robert Lucas
  • Not pictured:
    • Alquita Ferguson
    • Tarajuana Crowell


Ambassador_Aneesha Ambassador_1 Ambassador_Julius

Ambassador_Tameika IMG953072 IMG953078

East Tech scholars explore leadership traits at Promise brunch

East Tech scholars explore leadership traits at Promise brunch

On Wednesday, March 13, Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood hosted a brunch to celebrate the 21 seniors at East Tech High School who live in the Promise footprint.IMG-2089

Last year, Promise initiated a Promise scholarship to help support high school seniors as they transition to college. Seniors at the brunch last week learned about this opportunity for supportive funds, and will be eligible to apply over the summer. Promise Neighborhood initiative manager Richaun Bunton worked with East Tech to organize the brunch to encourage deeper interaction between the Promise team and the children of the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood.

At the brunch, staff explained how Promise works in the community, and encouraged students to consider the leaders within themselves. Students and staff completed an exercise to better understand personality types and provide insight into personal leadership style.

“The exercise outlined four personality types: Lion, Otter, Golden Retriever or Beaver,” said Bunton. “Many of the students were lions – goal-oriented, natural leaders who favor direct communication. We saw only a small amount of beavers, who are rule-focused and maintain high standards of order and respect – traits that can tip easily into perfectionism.”

Students then considered how their awareness of their personality traits could help their college experience: for example, would an otter, notoriously messy, be a good roommate for a beaver, who prefers neatness and order?IMG-2073_sm

“We wanted our session to be fun, while still offering support and introspection as these students consider their future,” Bunton said. “We want these 21 students to know they have the encouragement of an entire group of people they hadn’t met before the brunch: our staff and partners.”

Following a buffet brunch of yogurt parfaits, breakfast burritos and more, the students reflected on the time together, saying they felt less anxious about the changes they will soon experience. The scholars will be mentored by Promise staff as they prepare for their journey post-graduation.  They will also be honored at Promise’s summer College Roundtable in June.

If you would like to get more involved with ensuring the success of our Promise Neighborhood graduating scholars, please contact Richaun Bunton at

Promise team warms neighbors in polar vortex

Promise team warms neighbors in polar vortex

The last days of January 2019 were some of the coldest on record in Cleveland. Here in the Promise Neighborhood, our team jumped in with all hands on deck the day before the “polar vortex” descended to plan the best way to help Central residents get the supplies they may need to deal with the cold weather.PromiseFreeze_libraryshelves

Several staff loaded up carts full of socks, gloves, hats and blankets, along with nonperishable food items, to distribute around the neighborhood.

Community engagement manager Joe Black coordinated with law enforcement to equip Cleveland police and CMHA officers with supplies to keep in their squad cars, and Joe and community engagement coordinator Dawn Glasco made themselves available by phone to any partners or Promise Ambassadors who needed assistance.

The team stocked the Central neighborhood Cleveland Public Library branches, Sterling and Woodland, with cold-weather gear and pantry items, and library partners shared that participation was outstanding. Other organizations began donating supplies to these sites as well. Promise staff made sure to provide supplies to be distributed at the Emergency Department at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.

Joe said that during the first frigid, on his way into Central, he saw a man leaving St. Vincent with a stack of papers, all of which blew across the lawn, and the man was rushing to collect them—without gloves. Joe pulled over and offered him a pair of gloves.

“When he put on the gloves, I saw instant relief,” Joe said. “He kept saying that he needed to visit his daughter, and I gave him a ride to the Health Line to catch the bus, along with some extra blankets and gloves to share with his daughter.”

Joe offered the man a handshake as he left.PromiseFreeze_JoeVan

“He looked at me and said, ‘no way, man—I’m going to hug you,’” Joe said. “He squeezed me so tight; I was happy we were able to put some brightness in his day.”

“The collaboration required to pull this off in under 24 hours was exemplary,” said Susanna Krey, president of Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, the lead partner of the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood. “It is a wonderful representation of how we continue to carry forward the legacy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine in all of our work. Even in subzero temperatures, it is our courage and community that keeps us warm.”

Promise honors “Champions of Central” with holiday ceremony

Promise honors “Champions of Central” with holiday ceremony

IMG_20181114_170020Over the last several years, the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood has worked alongside residents and partners to focus on improving outcomes for children and families in Central. At the final Promise Advisory Council meeting of 2018, the Promise team recognized several individuals who have been instrumental in helping to create change in the community.

Called the “Champions of Central,” these individuals were nominated by organizations where they work or volunteer. They were identified as team members who help ful fill the missions of these organizations and contribute to the vibrancy of the Central neighborhood.

More than 75 people attended the November 14 celebration that included a brief Promise meeting, dinner and an awards ceremony. MVIMG_20181114_173444

“Traditionally, our November Advisory Council meetings center on a theme of gratitude and thanksgiving,” said Richaun Bunton, education performance manager. “This year, we wanted to offer special thanks to all of the residents who are helping to cultivate a vibrant and dynamic neighborhood through their contributions and hard work.”

Each Champion of Central received an engraved plaque, two tickets for an event of their choosing at Karamu House and entered into a raffle to win a new laptop.

“We work to support our residents to be independent change agents,” Bunton said. “Digital independence is necessary to get a leg up in our highly technological world, so we were proud to be able to offer the gift of a computer.”

Champions of Central included:

  • Anesha Lynn-Coleman, nominated by Cuyahoga Community College
  • Annie Glover, nominated by Promise
  • Belinda McPherson, nominated by Promise
  • Bryanta Spencer, nominated by Nurse Family Partnership
  • Charmaine Jordan, nominated by Promise
  • Colandra Humphrey, nominated by Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Delores Gray, nominated by Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority
  • Dr. Erin Murphy, nominated by the Boys and Girls Club
  • Eloise Smith, nominated by Promise
  • Gwendolyn Garth, nominated by Neighborhood Connections
  • LaQueta Worley-Bell, nominated by Promise
  • Leroy Carter, nominated by Promise
  • Lillie Hunter, nominated by Burten Bell Carr
  • Louise Buchanan, nominated by Burten Bell Carr
  • Mildred Lowe, nominated by St. Vincent Charity Medical Center
  • Nefertiti Peterson, nominated by Nurse Family Partnership
  • Precious Smith, nominated by Friendly Inn
  • Quiana Singleton, nominated by Promise
  • Renee Wren, nominated by Promise
  • Tameika Stuart, nominated by Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Tarajuana Crowell, nominated by Cuyahoga Community College
  • Twila Norris, nominated by Burten, Bell, Carr and the Children’s Museum of Cleveland

Promise staff members Joe Black and Dawn Glasco were also honored for their work in the community. Joe was nominated by Jan Thrope, and Dawn by Friendly Inn. Louise Buchanan won the laptop.

Congratulations to all of this year’s Champions of Central. Keep watch for our program updates in spring of 2019.

Seeking nominations for Champions of Central

Seeking nominations for Champions of Central

The Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood and the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland want to acknowledge and honor those individuals who help our partnering organizations fulfill their missions and contribute to the vibrancy of the Central neighborhood.

We need your help in identifying these Champions of Central.

We are seeking nominations for individuals who exemplify at least 3 of the following criteria:

  • A passion for the Central community
  • A commitment to the mission and vision of your organization
  • Has made a significant impact in the Central community by way of leading or participating in an activity or program in the area(s) of health, education and/or advocacy
  • Serves as a leader in the Central community
  • Serves or has served as a change agent within your organization and the Central community
  • Serves as an ambassador in your organization for programs or projects that directly impact the Central community
  • Serves as a Cleveland Central Promise Ambassador

You may nominate up to two individuals from your organization. Please submit all nominations by Wednesday, November 7.

 Selected champions and nominating organizations will be notified via email on November 9. Champions and nominating organizations will be honored at the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood Advisory Council meeting:

  • Date: Wednesday, November 14
  • Location: Friendly Inn, 2386 Unwin Road
  • Time: 4 – 6 p.m.

If you have someone in mind, please complete the nomination form and submit to Richaun Bunton, education performance manager, Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood:

Thank you and we look forward to receiving your nominations.

Exploring community through Mayan art of kite-making

Exploring community through Mayan art of kite-making

In Central and South America, kites have long been used as an art-based form of cultural identity and community collaboration that draw on various cultural traditions. This October, Promise had the opportunity to work with the Morgan Conservatory and bring a kite-making activity to the Central Neighborhood.43883

Ajpub’ Garcia, an artist in residence at the Morgan, brings his expertise in Mayan art from his home country of Guatemala. He led a group of more than 30 residents, partners and students in their own kite-making at Friendly Inn Settlement House.

In attendance were representatives from The Morgan Conservatory, Promise Ambassadors, Art Books Cleveland, the Educational Service Center of Northeastern Ohio, Central Girl Scouts, City Year, Inner Visions of Cleveland, Men of Central, Sterling Library and Kings and Queens of Art.

Garcia introduced the group to the origin of the Mayan kite tradition, and he shared images and related poetry from previous kite celebrations. Participants built kites that could fly, as well as ones to hang as decorative artifacts. The collaborating entities shared ideas about how to adapt this borrowed tradition to the interests, needs and concerns of Promise, progressing into a longer-term community-based project.43889

“The activity allows community members to come together and share their neighborhood vision to create a collective art form,” said Promise community engagement coordinator Dawn Glasco. “In this way, we uphold, recognize, and extend conversation to deepen our appreciation of shared values and community unity.”

Some of the kites will go on display at the Outhwaite Community Center and at the Sterling Branch of the Cleveland Public Library. Others will go home with participants.

Promise & WKYC bring early learning to Children’s Museum of Cleveland

Promise & WKYC bring early learning to Children’s Museum of Cleveland

On September 20, children and families from some of Promise’s early learning centers had the chance to visit the Children’s Museum of Cleveland for the first time in an event held as part of the #PromiseReads campaign.IMG_2991

The museum’s new location on Euclid Avenue sits on the border of the Central neighborhood. Thanks to a donor gift, the museum is offering free one-year memberships to families in Central. Promise reached out to Friendly Inn Settlement House, as well as Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, to invite preschool classes to the museum with their parents and introduce them to this enriching neighborhood resource. Friendly Inn’s early childhood group and students from Outhwaite Headstart attended the event to explore the museum.IMG_3152

The afternoon kicked off with a visit from WKYC news anchor Lynna Lai, who read stories to the children as they arrived. After a few games and songs, kids were free to check out the museum’s largest and most engaging exhibits, the Adventure Zone and the Wonder Lab. Promise staff played along, joining the children in the fun and speaking with parents about how to make the experience more accessible to Central residents. Representatives from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Daily Dose of Reading and SPARK helped parents sign up for their educational opportunities, and created crafts with the children.

Each parent who attended with their children signed up to receive a free museum membership. Thanks to the Children’s Museum of Cleveland aIMG_3099nd WKYC for sharing in this wonderful opportunity.

For more information on how to receive a museum membership for families in Central, contact Tatiana Wells, Promise early learning navigator at Starting Point: (216) 575-0061 ext. 538.

Ambassadors celebrate Central’s ‘unsung heroes’

Ambassadors celebrate Central’s ‘unsung heroes’

On June 24, Promise ambassadors and residents of the Central neighborhood gathered to honor those who have contributed to Central’s rich history and future.

Notable attendees at the event included Cleveland mayor and Central resident Frank Jackson and Cleveland city councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland. The gathering, called the “Unsung Heroes Awards” was supported by Burten Bell Carr Development Inc., Neighborhood Connections and the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.

Honorees in each category included:

Unsung Heroes of Central – Past

  • Leola Wilson
  • Geraldine Hunter
  • Mildred Lowe
  • Bernice Ford
  • Pernel Jones Sr.
  • Inez Thompson
  • Mary Gray
  • Sarah Divens
  • Paul Arnold

Unsung Heroes of Central – Present

  • Jerome Calloway
  • Ramiasha Muhammad
  • Andrea Nadine Gray
  • Thomas Norris
  • Denise Jackson
  • Edwina Jackson
  • Leroy Carter
  • Richgina Jeff-Carter
  • Betty Worley
  • Jerome Baker
  • Theodora Baker
  • LaQueta Worley-Bell
  • Harold Alexander
  • Rose Alexander
  • Tim Willis

Unsung Heroes of Central – Future

  • Milian Wilder
  • Abyssina Jones
  • Wannetta Allen
  • Lametris Joiner
  • Pamela Caldwell
  • Beverly Collier
  • Richard Brown
  • Dawanna Brown

Congratulations to all of Central’s “Unsung Heroes!”

CentralCelebration_table2 CentralCelebration_table CentralCelebration_room2 CentralCelebration_room CentralCelebration_table3

A Note from Sue: Making a Literacy Promise

A Note from Sue: Making a Literacy Promise

Sue_headshouldersLooking ahead in the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood, we are energized and excited to continue working toward our vision to support educational opportunities for Central’s families and children. The area of education is broad and diverse, and this year, Promise is focusing in on building literacy and encouraging reading among families and children in Central.

Our partners at The Literacy Cooperative have shared some staggering statistics: There is a 30-million word gap between 3-year-old children from professional families and their peers who come from families at or below the poverty level. This inequity follows these children into grade school, contributing to lagging kindergarten readiness and reading proficiency at third grade. Given that over 80 percent of Central children are in families at or below poverty, efforts to close this literacy gap are critical.

We are investing in several avenues to help support reading from a young age.

First, our Read and Ride program encourages and motivates young readers to log the books they read and enter into a chance to win bikes, and we’re just about ready to send this year’s students off on two wheels for the summer. First offered to one classroom at George Washington Carver School in 2015, the program now serves all first and second grade students at the three Promise neighborhood schools, as well as pre-K students at 10 early learning centers. In collaboration with the Knights of Pythias, Starting Point and Kids Book Bank, children and families receive books to increase family reading time and build home libraries.

We’ve also partnered with The Literacy Cooperative to expand the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to children under five residing in the Central neighborhood. DPIL is a unique early years book gifting program that mails a brand new, age-appropriate book to enrolled children monthly through their fifth birthday, at no cost to the recipient. TLC will partner with Promise Ambassadors, libraries, early learning and daycare providers, pediatricians and other medical providers to enroll families living in Central. Stay tuned for more about this in the coming months.

Our own #PromiseReads initiative will help put Central’s young readers in the spotlight, offering books and reading opportunities at events throughout the year. #PromiseReads is all about encouraging children and families to read together, and to share that reading time with us on social media – and, later this year, on the local news, with support from WKYC. Over the next several months, we’ll be promoting reading by hosting themed community events, rehabilitating our neighborhood’s Little Free Libraries and sharing photos and videos on our Promise Facebook and Twitter pages.

We know from last year’s data that the 2016-2017 school year was the first time all three Promise neighborhood schools passed the Ohio third-grade reading guarantee. This is an encouraging trend, and one we’re hoping to see maintained in the coming years.

Keep checking back on our website for more updates about our upcoming initiatives, as well as how you can get involved. I know that by continuing to work together, we can truly make change in our community.

Susanna H. Krey, President, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland


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: