www.thecommunitypressfla.org / MAY 2021 / Volume 7 - No. 05

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The MAY 2021 Edition Of  The Community Press Is Now Available!
05 Comm Press MAY 2021 FINAL.pdf Comm Press Media Kit 2021.pdf Shoemaker Florist Ad June 2020.pdf Lee Health Ad.pdf Tobler Revised Ad.pdf Williams Academy Ad.pdf
Joe North Ad JUN 2020.pdf Middlebrooks Assoc Ad.pdf 01 Comm Press JAN 2019 Page 37.pdf JBoyd MAY 2021.pdf Nora Potts Ads AUG.pdf STARS MAY 2021.pdf 04 FMPD APRIL 2021.pdf Chelles AUG.pdf Donald Isaac Ad June 2020.pdf Click below for larger image TIGERFM COMMUNITY PRESS AD.pdf Kingdom Radio Ad.pdf 04 Comm Press APRIL 2021Studio 413.pdf Mt Hermon MAY 2021.pdf Alpha Foundation Ad.pdf Affordable Treasures.pdf Regions Bank.pdf Janns Produce MAY 2021.pdf Lab Theater Ad.pdf CRA AD New Board 20_21.pdf

City of Fort Myers Fire Department held its Promotion and Award Ceremony for 2020 at the Downtown Firehouse on Jackson Street last Friday, April 30th. Last year's ceremony was suspended because of COVID. With the help of a volunteer committee called the "Firehouse Wives", the firehouse bay area was transformed and ready for  family and friends to gather to finally see their loved ones formally pinned.

All those pinned were 2020 promotion candidates or newly hired.

The first pinning was that of Fire Chief Tracy McMillon. He was confirmed in 2020 as the new Ft. Myers Fire Chief. The other positions pinned were Deputy Chiefs, Assistant Chief, Division Chief, Fire Marshal, Assistant Fire Marshal, Battalion Chiefs, Fire Training Manager, Fire Inspectors, Captains, Engineers and Firefighters.

Special Recognition

Firefighter of the Year: Engineer Oliver Castellanos

Paramedic of the Year: Engineer Drew Demond

Dedicated Service Award: Engineer Oliver Castellanos, Inspector Tyler Daniels and Pastor Jon Zehnder

Other recognition awards were the Unit Citations, Recognition Certificates and the Phoenix Award.    Photos by Jacquie Matthews Williams.

The School District of Lee County is starting the bidding process that will lead to the tearing down and rebuilding of Franklin Park Elementary School.  The Florida Department of Education has approved the District’s plan to replace the school rather than modernize it.

“We are so excited to have a beautiful new campus soon that our community, families, and staff can be proud of for many years,” says Franklin Park Principal Michelle Freeman. “Franklin Park will genuinely be a Community Partnership School!  We will be able to provide unique services and support to ensure student success. We look forward to continuing to serve our community!”  

Franklin Park Elementary opened as an all-black school in 1958.  It was converted into a middle school in 1970 and integrated.  In 1977, Franklin Park was renovated and returned to an elementary school.

The rebuild, pending state approval at the time, was one of the promises the District made to voters if the half cent sales tax was approved in 2018. The project is expected to cost around $53 million.  All but one classroom building and the gymnasium will be torn down and replaced.  Both remaining structures will be completely renovated.

“The new Franklin Park Elementary School will acknowledge the historic significance this site has served within our community, but embolden us to provide even more for our students and families,” says Chief of Operations Dr. Ken Savage.  “For the first time in the history of Lee County, we will be using our partnerships with the United Way, Lee Health, FGCU and other providers to incorporate community wrap-around services on a school campus.  Franklin Park will be a true community school.  It will benefit not just the whole child but the whole family.”

Demolition and construction are expected to begin in October 2022 after a year of planning and design.  The new school should open in August of 2024.  Students will be relocated to a temporary portable campus during the rebuild.

FROM THE DESK OF DEBBIE JORDAN School Board Member, District 4 Chairperson

We are finally here and excitement is in the air.  I brought to you a month ago or so that we would finally be ready for the rebuild of Franklin Park Elementary School. A briefing was held on April 13th giving an overview of the Community Partnership School Model and the Re-build process with next steps.

Along with the re-build Franklin Park Elementary School is our first Community Partnership school which offers many programs and services such as, Student Supports, Family Support and School Supports. With the 5 year plan they will look at on-site school-based health clinic, on-site food pantry, individual, group, and family counseling, enrichment activities, before and after school activities, Community Partnership School Committees, FGCU internship programs, and Parent resource center just to mention a few.

We are very thankful for our partnership with the United Way, FGCU, Lee Health and the great leadership of Ms. Freeman (Principle) who have made all of this possible for our Community Wrap-Around Programs.

Our campus rebuild project timeline is as follows: Scoping to be completed by Spring of 2021, RFQ’s – Spring 2021-Fall 2021, Design Fall 2021-Winter 2022, Construction (Portable Campus) Winter 2022-Summer 2024, Opening Fall of 2024.

Draft Scope will include Community Engagement for the Project Vision Workshop. I will keep you updated on as we move forward.

If you have any question please feel free to reach out to me at debbiej@ leeschools.net.

Your School Board Member, District 4/ Chairperson, Debbie Jordan.

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Scottish Rite Masons-PHA  Hold Second Annual Golf Tournament

A Message from The Prince Hall Freemasons

On behalf of the Scottish Rite Masons-PHA (Prince Hall Affiliation), of Southwest Florida, we say thank you, to our sponsors, donors, golfers and volunteers for supporting our 2nd Annual Golf Tournament to benefit the American Cancer Society, at the Lake Venice Golf Club in Venice Florida.  With your help we are able to be a blessing to others.

Again, thank you.

Overseer, Grand Inspector General Andrew L. Jordan,33° and Commander-In-Chief, Grand Inspector General Harrison S. Knight, 33°.

Pulitzer Prize-Nominated “Race”  by David Mamet Opens Susan (Cantrella Canady) looks on as lawyers Jack  (Michael Massaria) and Henry (Lemec Bernard) watch  Charles Strickland (Brian Linthicum) write out his statement_

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Fort Myers Fire Department Holds  Promotion and Awards Ceremony

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Franklin Park Elementary School To Be Rebuilt

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Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Names  Scholarship For Loraine Davis

Loraine Davis is delighted to have a scholarship in her honor from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, State of Florida. Loraines’ pride and joy is working with the chapter’s youth auxiliaries and signature youth programs such as Sir Debonaire’. She has devoted countless hours as an advisor for the Archonettes  (high school age girls) and the Amicettes (middle school age girls)  and has poured love and life lessons into numerous young men enrolled in the Sir Debonaire’ program. During her tenure as an advisor, the Eta Alpha Zeta Youth Auxiliary was noted for their stellar service to the local community as well as having one of the largest youth groups in Fort Myers. Loraine later went on to serve as the Florida State Youth Coordinator for eleven years. During her time in this role, she continued to elevate Zeta’s youth within the state.

Loraine White Davis has proudly served Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. for over fifty-five consecutive years. Loraine became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Iota Alpha Chapter on the campus of Florida Memorial in St. Augustine, Florida. Upon graduation from college, Loraine Davis returned home to Fort Myers to assist with chartering the Eta Alpha Zeta Chapter. She has served the sorority in numerous capacities, such as; President, Vice President,  Secretary, Treasurer and numerous committee chairs. She served alongside several notable Zetas who also believe, the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Mrs.  Davis was inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame in 2010, an honor which is well deserved.

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The Lesson Plan MARCH 2021 Gwynetta Gittens, Lee County School Board “Right, Fair and Just!”

“If you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something about it.”  John Lewis

The quote by John Lewis has been my mantra since being elected to the school board of Lee County.  I remember my days as a high school teacher and hearing my students say, "I won't be a snitch" and explaining to them that sometimes it is your duty to help others by sharing what you know. It is not easy, it is sometimes scary and often very lonely, but it is the right thing to do.

What is something that is "not right": Students not receiving the same equitable resources.

What is not fair: Students being educated in sub par conditions; e.g. 20-year old portable classrooms with unsafe walkways and exposed insulation.

What is not just: Millions of tax dollars being spent to enhance areas that have 18% growth while areas with 66% growth are deprived of their basic tools for success.

If I sit in my seat on the dais and say and, do nothing, I am guilty of complacency, not doing my job.  If you are aware of the not right, unfair and not just conditions and do nothing, are you complacent as well?  Our children cannot afford for any of us to be complacent, it is their future we are dealing with. You can use your voice to advocate for what are right, fair and just.  You do have a voice, an opinion, and a right to be heard.  

In the past few weeks the school board has seen more interest and participation in the work of educating children than I have seen since I have been on the board.  The district has no choice but to listen and act especially when is comes from the collective voice of The community/Taxpayers that allow us to work for them on behalf of all the children.

What can you do Be Present in mind, body and thought. Be observant of what is being said and done about the education of our children?  Be involved; attend board meetings, watch meetings on YouTube Lee Schools TV.  Share your voice in an email to BoardOffice@leeschools.net.  Participate at a school, you don't have to have children there, we have plenty of students that would love to hear you read or talk to them.  Write letters of encouragement to staff and teachers. Thank a Teacher or Staff member, let them know they are appreciated and valued.  There are a lot of opportunities for the words Great Job to be spoken.  They need to hear from you. You can help, you do have a voice and we need an entire choir, not a solo.  

Eccl. 4:7-12: “Two can resist an attack that would defeat one and a rope of three cords is hard to break.” Gwynetta Gittens