Ben Pryde, an emerging leader and a senior at the Bush school decided to provide community service for his Scout Eagle Project by recruiting and organizing over 25 Bush School students and community members to spend their entire day on Sunday, August 14, painting the gymnasium at the MLK FAME Community Center. The students also mowed the lawn and pruned the hedges. Members of First African Methodist Episcopal Church were present on Sunday morning to welcome the students. Ben said he often watched the kids playing at the school and wanted to do something to improve the facility for the children.
This is an example of extraordinary collaboration and community spirit in light of the fact that the Bush School and FAME bid against each other to obtain the property. Once the property was awarded to the predominantly African American church, the Bush school leadership promised to be good neighbors and they are making good on that promise.
The mission of the MLK Community center is to develop and promote social, cultural, economic and community service for youth. Current services and programs include a reading program, recreational activities in the gym which is open Monday-Friday from 2-6 pm free of charge and dancing programs. There are plans to provide a youth obesity program, nutrition classes, exercise classes, counseling and tutoring in the very near future. This summer youth from the Central Area Youth Agency attended the school everyday for enrichment activities. They received free food and snacks and Tae Kwon Do classes were offered in the evening.
The MLK Community Center Director Norwood Brooks welcomed the support and participation of the Bush School and encourages members of the community to use the school for community activities and meetings. Rental space is available for community based programs. Free rental space is offered to organizations that provide services or activities to youth.
The MLK FAME Community Center had its Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony August 27, 2011. For more information call 206-257-5572 or visit www.mlkfame.com.
By writer Carolyn Scott-Brown