Meet the 2019 Promise scholars

Meet the 2019 Promise scholars

On May 10, graduating seniors at East Tech High School in Central received their awards to celebrate accomplishments throughout their high school career.MVIMG_20190510_100426 A large percentage of those graduating seniors are residents of the Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood, and had spent the previous several months building relationships with the Promise team. At the awards ceremony, the Promise team distributed scholarships to each of the Promise seniors.

“We hope these will help you get started in your post-secondary education,” said Richaun Bunton, Promise Initiative Manager, when she addressed the group. “We expect truly great things of you, to be the examples of the Promise that this neighborhood has.”

Promise awarded each individual $500 to start college. The Promise seniors will meet with the team again in June at the second annual Promise College Roundtable, where the graduates will have the opportunity to speak with current college students and alumni about what to expect when they head to college.IMG_20190510_103233

Two of the scholars, Essian Jalil and Dyshanna Perkins, were hand selected by East Tech principal Temujin Taylor for the 2019 East Tech Principal’s Award, which demonstrates strength of character and potential.

Congratulations to all graduates! Our 2019 scholars are:

  • Fatimoh Adebayo
  • Montana Burns
  • Darion Crenshaw
  • Destanee Dallas
  • Ajamonae Dowdell
  • Tyric Drane
  • Gregory Elma
  • Cierra Gunn
  • Essian Jalil
  • Brooke King
  • Domanick Leach
  • Da’Von Martin
  • Jordan McDowell
  • Aiana O’Neal
  • Dyshanna Perkins
  • Eric Pickett
  • Kenitra Robinson
  • Kevon Sellers
  • Kaila Terrell
  • Devell Walker

Legendary Cleveland news anchor reads to Central students

Legendary Cleveland news anchor reads to Central students

See the full story and video at


Leon Bibb tells a fun tale in visit to school book nook

WKYC’s Leon Bibb treats a class of kindergarteners to a fun rendition of “Llama Llama Holiday Drama”

Cleveland teacher Shelby Kammer has a burning desire to instill a love of reading in her kindergarteners.

Earlier this year WKYC fulfilled her wish to establish a cozy reading corner inside her classroom at George Washington Carver School on Cleveland’s East Side. WKYC donated the new rug and bean bag chairs that Kammer  requested on the Donors Choose website.

And on Tuesday we tossed in an extra present, just in time for the holidays.

We sent WKYC special correspondent Leon Bibb over to Kammer’s classroom, where he took a seat in the rocking chair and delivered a spirited reading of “Llama Llama Holiday Drama,” to the children’s delight.

Ever the storyteller, Bibb captivated the kids by reading in singsong rhythm and prompted them to talk about the meaning of the story. Don’t get caught up in the holiday rush, he cautioned them — but take time to enjoy just being home with your family.

The visit was spurred by a heartfelt letter that Kammer wrote recently. “When receiving several large boxes at our door, my students were extremelyIMG_20181218_130807 eager and excited to find out what was inside,” her letter to WKYC began. 

Her students, Kammer wrote, “have loved getting to use these bean bags in our reading corner to get cozy with a new book. They have also loved using this rug to check their alphabet matching or work on their iPads. These products have given so much to my students and to my classroom. We are all eternally grateful.”

WKYC donated the items to support the station’s #PromiseReads collaboration with the Sisters of Charity Foundation, which promotes family literacy in the Central neighborhood.  

After reading two stories in the rocking chair, Bibb handed out cookies to the class. He also encouraged the students to read at least two books at home during the holiday break, and gave away a box of books provided by the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank. 

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.

NEOSTREAM Conference with Marcia Fudge Oct. 25-27

NEOSTREAM Conference with Marcia Fudge Oct. 25-27

In the Spring of 2017, Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge hosted the inaugural Northeast Ohio Science, Technology, Recreation, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (NEOSTREAM) Conference in conjunction with Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). Over the course of three days, approximately 930 students, educators, community members and executives participated in innovative workshops, hands-on demonstrations, and tailored lectures.

This year, NEOSTREAM will be hosted in Central, with three days of activities and workshops at Cleveland State University and Tri-C from October 25 to 27.

The schedule is as follows:

Day One: Educators Day – Cleveland State University

8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Educators will participate in an immersive professional development experience – exploring, engaging in and being equipped with practical and readily available classroom strategies in leading STREAM education.

Day Two: Executive Leaders Day and Student Day – Tri-C

7:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Executive Leaders Day

School superintendents, CEOs, non-profit leaders and elected officials will convene for a strategic planning session to develop a blueprint that will strengthen and maintain the STREAM pipeline in Northeast Ohio.

8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Student Day

Students will participate in hands-on interactive activities and sessions designed to ignite and create awareness of diversity and opportunity in STREAM careers.


Day Three: Community Day – Cleveland State University

8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Families and community members will participate in activities which promote STREAM education and careers. Community Day will feature hands-on and interactive activities that feed a curiosity for the future.

NEOSTREAM features interactive workshops from organizations like the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, The Music Settlement, NASA, Tri-C Welding and more. Representative Marcia Fudge will be attending, as well as Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers.

If you are interested in volunteering, reach out to Promise education performance manager Richaun Bunton at

Stay tuned to for further updates, and we look forward to seeing you at NEOSTREAM!

WKYC features Back to School Rally and #PromiseReads kickoff

WKYC features Back to School Rally and #PromiseReads kickoff

Promise kicked off its #PromiseReads campaign at Central’s Back to School Rally at Friendly Inn earlier this month, and WKYC was there to capture all the excitement. Book giveaways, bookmarks, reading circles and a Little Free Library all helped inspire reading in the last days of summer. Promise, Friendly Inn and the Cleveland Transformation Alliance provided backpacks, school supplies, uniforms and haircuts to make sure everyone was ready for their first day.

Click here to watch the video clip, and read the article below.

Central Promise Neighborhood joins WKYC’s literacy campaign

Author: Margaret Bernstein

At a Monday back-to-school rally at Friendly Inn Settlement in Cleveland, a new neighborhood – Central — joined WKYC’s ongoing literacy crusade.

The Central Promise Neighborhood rolled out its new program, called Promise Reads, handing out free books and bookmarks to families.

There was a Little Free Library present inside the Friendly Inn at the rally, symbolic of the fact that Central is now Cleveland’s newest Little Free Library Neighborhood. It’s a designation that simply means that leaders in that neighborhood have committed to hosting regular events around literacy.

 The project, yet another a spinoff of WKYC’s successful Slavic Village Reads and Hough Reads initiatives, is a partnership with the Sisters of Charity Foundation’s Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood program.

And as with Hough and Slavic Village, WKYC will be supporting the Central community by providing media coverage of its literacy events in the months ahead.

WKYC and several other community partners were present for the kickoff of Promise Reads, including The Literacy Cooperative which was signing up families for its Imagination Library free book program. A storyteller from Friendly Inn’s SPARK program kept the little ones captivated by reading a book about counting cookies.

The Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank donated more than 1,500 books for the rally. Some kids stuffed them into their new backpacks, others read them on site while waiting for haircuts and hair braiding.

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!”

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School Quality Navigators join efforts of Transformation Alliance

School Quality Navigators join efforts of Transformation Alliance

The Cleveland Transformation Alliance is a public-private partnership responsible for ensuring accountability for all public schools in the city. The Alliance has four interconnected roles: ensure fidelity to the citywide education plan, assess the quality of all Cleveland schools, communicate with parents about quality school choices and monitor the growth and quality of the charter school sector in ClevelCTAnavand.

Cleveland Transformation Alliance recently hired two individuals to serve as School Quality Navigators in Central. The navigator’s role is to support families and caregivers in finding and enrolling in the school that best fits their children’s needs. The navigator will work directly with families whose children are transitioning from preschool to kindergarten and from eighth grade to high school. Navigators will provide guidance to families, helping them learn about their public school options and decide which best meet the needs of their children. Navigators will also help them enroll in the public schools of their choosing.

CTAlogoSeana Jackson and Brandy Smith have been hired as the school quality navigators for the 2018-2019 school year. Seana and Brandy spent the first week of June in training sessions with the Cleveland Transformation Alliance and members of the Promise team to provide an introduction to the community.

Seana and Brandy will continue their work through the beginning of the school year, so stay tuned to hear results of the program as the Transformation Alliance continues to advance toward its goal to emphasize quality school choice in Cleveland’s families.

East Tech scholars receive $2M in scholarships

East Tech scholars receive $2M in scholarships

Promise has proudly awarded scholarships to 12 scholars in East Tech High School’s graduating class of 2018, offering a boost to get them started on the next step of their education journey.

In an awards ceremony at East Tech High School, Promise Engagement Manager Joe Black and Education Performance Manager Richaun Bunton were joined by Promise Ambassador Dolores Gray to present the scholarships to the students, many of whom received additional awards from the school and community organizations.promiseschols3

Seniors Sampson Deal and Shaleia Howard received full rides – Deal to Eastern Michigan University and Howard to Cleveland State University. In total, students received two million dollars in scholarship funding.

Senior Donald White received the Principal’s Award, and the ceremony honored the class officers of 2018 and presented new class officers for 2019.

2018 Promise Scholars:

  • Eric Anderson
  • Ny’Ashia Carlton
  • Natalia Carroll
  • Dylon Cullum
  • Sampson Dealpromiseschols2
  • Jaye Douglas
  • Shaleia Howard
  • Shauntinique Isom
  • Donald King III
  • Davion McKenzie
  • Denise Roldan
  • Jatae Rowell
  • Ja’Tayia Warner

This year’s scholars will join Promise for the College Roundtable on June 13 to learn more about what to expect when they head to school in the fall.

Congratulations to all!