Clearwater lawyers step up to the plate to help at-risk boys

first_imgClearwater lawyers step up to the plate to help at-risk boys Clearwater lawyers step up to the plate to help at-risk boys Associate Editor Truth be known, the folks at Kings Highway Elementary in Clearwater were skeptical when lawyer Leonard Milcowitz first talked up big plans for a program for at-risk boys at a school where more than half of the students live in poverty. What gave his after-school program pizzazz, the lawyer said in his sales pitch, was the lure of baseball taught by former pro players. As Arthurene Williams, behavior specialist at the school, put it: “I’m listening to this lawyer lay all this out, and I’m looking at him and thinking about what my mom always said, ‘If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.’” But she kept listening, as Milcowitz told her all about the nonprofit corporation called Extra Innings Youth Foundation, Inc., he’d created with his law partner, Ed Lyons. They promised to buy state-of-the-art computers and multicultural textbooks, deliver snacks, hire certified teachers to provide one-on-one tutoring to help the boys with homework after school five days a week. They would purchase personalized equipment bags bulging with hat, uniform, glove, and shoes for each boy who earned the honor to play ball on the Extra Innings team. They’d finance field trips to places the boys had never been before, like the Nutcracker Ballet at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Teacher StePhan Lane recalled: “My honest impression when Mrs. Williams first told me how these lawyers would buy six lap-top computers to use in the classroom, I’m thinking, ‘Wow! This would be great!’ But in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, I’ll get a memo tomorrow that we can’t have this program and we’ll never hear from them again.” The skeptics are now true believers. The lawyers have made good on their promises and beyond. Now in its second year, the Extra Innings program graduated 14 boys last year, now serves 30 boys, and has expanded to Sandy Lane Elementary in Pinellas County, too. When the kids needed their own baseball field and their own portable classroom at Kings Highway Elementary, the law partners forked over the bucks for that, too. The whole idea, the lawyers explained, is to help prevent drop-outs by igniting young boys’ can-do spirit so they’ll stay in school until high school graduation day and go on to do something positive with their lives. “Ed and I truly care about the well-being of children in the world. We can’t feed everyone. But we are committed to take care of the children in our community that we live in,” Milcowitz said. “It is our belief that it is the responsibility of all of us who are able to do well in our professional lives to take the time to give back to the community.” Extra Innings affords the boys a safe place to go every day after school, where they receive tutorial and remedial education services from real teachers. Besides the reward of getting their homework done and watching their grades soar, there’s the bonus of the thrill of the crack of the bat and sliding into home, catching a fly ball in the palm of a well-worn leather glove, getting advice from positive male role models, and learning the teamwork it takes to win a game. Principal Ken O’Bryant admitted: “Most of us have concern when someone promises to give you something for free. Free for how long and what do you want from us? But Len and his partner are truly selfless. They ask for little in return except for cooperation.” The cooperation from the school the lawyers needed was a place for their program and some teachers enthusiastic to participate. And Williams responded: “I’ll get them for you.” What her school got in return, she said, is a “godsend” in positive changes for third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade boys. Many have no positive men in their lives, many go home after school to empty houses because their single mom works two jobs to make ends meet. Of last year’s 14 successful participants, eight made the honor roll for the first time. “The program has been a very positive influence in helping our children, who are 60 percent at or below the poverty level,” O’Bryant said. “Our children need a positive role model, and this has been a real motivator.” Just ask Williams, whose job it is to handle the kids with behavior problems. “I would see this one little boy every day in my office,” Williams said. “He was disrespectful, defiant, and showed a total lack of cooperation. I got his parents involved and talked with them. We put him on different types of contracts, and we still needed something more. We put him in the Extra Innings program, and we saw a 360-degree turnaround with his behavior and motivation. He was like a diamond in the rough that now shines.” Another boy in Extra Innings, Williams said, once had no self-confidence, made failing grades, and rarely smiled. “This little boy, for the first time in his life, made the honor roll,” Williams said. “For the first time, he would come and give me hugs. It was almost like the lightbulb came on. The Extra Innings was the only difference in his life that had occurred. It was proving to the boys: ‘You are somebody, you can be somebody. We’re here to help you.’” Lane, the teacher, said he accompanied the Extra Innings boys on a field trip to see a minor league baseball team, the Dunedin Blue Jays, play. The boys got a chance to go on the field and hang out with the pro players, and it was as big of a deal as going to meet the Atlanta Braves at the World Series. “I personally heard a boy say, ‘This is one of the best times I’ve had in my life.’ That’s something I will always keep in my heart,” Lane said. Lane believes the generosity from Milcowitz and Lyons is a gift from their hearts — not just a tax write-off for rich lawyers. “I was born in this community,” Lane said. “This is something this community needs. We now have a baseball field. And one evening, I saw people from the community out there playing ball. I looked for a while at them playing on that new field, and that touched me. This program is good for our school, but it’s also good for our community. If they did this for accolades or money, they got that when they started it last year. But they keep on giving. They act more excited about the program than me, and that’s hard, because I’m so excited. Their hearts are really in the program.” And Williams agrees. “These two are wonderful,” Williams said. “When the kids go on field trips, they’re usually there. They’ll come out to the field. I really feel this is very close to their hearts.. . . What’s really more impressive than anything is Len’s personal involvement. Rather than just signing a check, he’s really there. When you find someone as committed as he is, then you are even more committed.” The program was born from a series of simple conversations that became an idea put into action. Milcowitz, 54, plays second base for a men’s baseball league and used to attend the New York Yankees Fantasy Baseball Camp. That’s where he met Roy Silver, a former pro baseball player and manager in the St. Louis Cardinals’ farm system. “We became friends and one day we’re talking about things,” Milcowitz recalled. “We both had a very keen interest in developing a program to help inner-city children stay in school and at least have an opportunity to obtain an education. That was the general scope. It became more specific, because we both realized that one of the tools we could use to our advantage was baseball.” Meanwhile, Williams, the elementary school behavior specialist, had met Silver at a breakfast. She didn’t know him, but knew he was a baseball player, introduced herself, and invited him to come mentor the children at her school. So when Extra Innings went scouting for a school, Kings Highway Elementary was at the top of the list, because it met the criteria as an inner-city school with boys at risk of becoming high school drop-outs. Silver told Williams he knew a lawyer who had an idea he wanted to tell her about. Milcowitz was the talker, and his partner, Lyons, agreed to sign the checks. Lyons, 41, used to be a boxer in college, but never played baseball. “I like baseball, but I’m a bit of a sports illiterate,” he said with a laugh. And Milcowitz added: “I think of Eddie as a little George Steinbrenner. We drive out and watch our children play baseball.” He says “our children” with a father’s pride, and tells of taking seven of the top students in Extra Innings to a big New York Yankees luncheon, and the boys were all dressed in their baseball uniforms. “I want to tell you, we had people take notice of our boys. They wanted to know who these well-behaved boys were. They were just incredible,” Milcowitz bragged. “I was very proud.” As Lyons said, by giving the boys something positive to do with their time after school, “their chance of getting in trouble decreases 80 percent. Our initial thought is if we can help get the kids up to high school and not get hijacked by their environment along the way, maybe it will give them enough strength and support to go on and lead productive lives. At high school, they can volunteer at the program and help the younger kids in a mentoring way.” As the successes of Extra Innings grow, Milcowitz and Lyons have expanded their vision to the middle school, because, as Milcowitz said: “We can’t abandon the boys in the fifth grade.” One day, they even hope to build their own school. In the meantime, boys at two inner-city elementary schools in Pinellas County are proud to walk down the hallways with their baseball equipment bags bearing the Extra Innings logo and personalized with their own names. And two lawyers with a vision to help kids recently got all the thanks they needed when a mother spotted Milcowitz in the crowd at a community event and rushed over to ask: “Aren’t you the guy who runs the Extra Innings program? I just want to thank you for giving me my son back.” For more information about the Extra Innings Youth Foundation, contact Sharon Dean, director of program development, 29605 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 180, Clearwater 33761, or call (727) 781-7200. November 1, 2001 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular Newslast_img read more

Facility Solutions: Keeping sane while sanitizing

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr I am no expert on the COVID-19 virus. While fearful of near-term consequences to family, friends and community, I am highly optimistic about the future. The pathway through this pandemic will be anything but easy. On the way to the other side, we will learn a lot about how to provide an exceptional member experience virtually—and also through our physical locations.How we and our members act in physical places must change to reduce the infection curve and keep us as safe as possible. These are scary times in which we must continue to serve our members and keep staff healthy and productive.We all know what to do personally, but it never hurts to be talking about the key actions to take these days: thoroughly wash our hands, keep six to 10 feet apart, cover our mouths if we cough, not touch our faces, self-quarantine and get tested if we have symptoms, and sanitize all surfaces.last_img read more

Straining at the lease

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

July Jobs That Pay Update: Launching PAsmart, Supporting PA Workers, Empowering Municipalities

first_img July 17, 2018 SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Economy,  Education,  Efficiency,  Government That Works,  Infrastructure,  Jobs That Pay,  Minimum Wage,  PAsmart,  The Blog,  Transportation,  Workforce Development This month, the commonwealth reached a major economic milestone as Governor Tom Wolf made the first deposit to the state’s reserves in nearly a decade, secured $30 million for his first-of-its-kind investment in workforce development, and raised the minimum wage for state employees.Apprenticeships with PAsmartBuilding on his PAsmart initiative, Governor Wolf announced additional investments in apprenticeship programs and signed an executive order to strengthen the state’s ability to deliver workforce development services to Pennsylvanians. Apprenticeships with the School District of Philadelphia and heavy equipment operation training with PA Heavy & Highway were among the many opportunities announced this month.Supporting Pennsylvania WorkersGovernor Wolf took significant steps to keep the Keystone State a competitive place to work, including increasing pay for state employees to no less than $12 an hour, announcing enhanced employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and funding manufacturing training for individuals with language barriers.Empowering MunicipalitiesThis month, Governor Wolf took significant steps to provide municipalities new tools to help increase redevelopment opportunities and reduce the threats of abandoned properties by signing bills aimed at eradicating blight throughout Pennsylvania’s communities.In addition, the governor announced $31 million to support traffic signal upgrades in 70 municipalities across the commonwealth, increasing safety and mobility.Highlights from June – July 2018Governor Wolf Announces New Student Apprenticeship Opportunities with the School District of PhiladelphiaGovernor Wolf Signs Legislation to Combat Neighborhood BlightGovernor Wolf’s Employment First Policy to Help People with Disabilities Find Work Becomes LawGovernor Wolf Approves Funding to Help Berks County Job Seekers Overcome Work Barriers and Attain Manufacturing CareersBipartisan Budget Bolsters Economy, Workforce through Education, Skills TrainingFollowing Budget Passage, Gov. Wolf Launches PAsmart with New Investments in Job and Skills TrainingGovernor Wolf Announces $1 Million in PLCB Grants for Developing, Promoting Pennsylvania WinesGovernor Wolf Raises the Minimum Wage for Commonwealth Workers, Calls on Legislature to ActPennsylvania Increases Consumer Protections, Criminalizes Skimmer Device Possession and UseWolf Administration Makes First Investments in Expanding Vanpool Options for Workers, Persons with DisabilitiesGovernor Wolf Signs Executive Order to Improve Job, Skills Training as Part of PAsmart InitiativeGovernor Wolf Announces New Loan Approvals, Supporting Small Business Expansion and 125 Manufacturing JobsGovernor Wolf Announces Traffic Signal Improvements to Benefit 70 Municipalities StatewideGovernor Wolf Makes $22 Million Deposit into Rainy Day Fund, First in Nearly a DecadeGovernor Wolf Announces $2 Million to Retain More Teachers, School LeadersGovernor Wolf: Apprenticeships, Job Training Expanding with PAsmart InitiativeVeterinary Board Acts on Governor Wolf’s Job Licensing ReformGovernor Wolf Announces New Apprenticeship Opportunities for Construction and Heavy Equipment Operation in Western PennsylvaniaHighlights from Instagram July Jobs That Pay Update: Launching PAsmart, Supporting PA Workers, Empowering Municipalities By: The Office of Governor Tom Wolflast_img read more

First home buyers are determined to crack into the property market before time runs out

first_imgOTTO apartments at Mermaid Beach offer incentives for first home buyersFirst homebuyer specialist Sarah Zawadzki from Collins House Property Group said she was inundated with inquiries from Gold Coast families interested in buying their first property. More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North7 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“The demand for new house and land packages is overwhelming,” Ms Zawadzki said.“It started to pick up towards the end of April and now I am getting so many calls and emails from first home buyers wanting to get into the market that it is taking days to respond.” Ms Zawadzki said the most in demand suburbs were Oxenford and Maudsland with up to 10 home buyers inquiring per property.“The further out the property is the fewer inquiries there are,” she said. “The hardest part about securing a property for these buyers is getting the deposit, so they are looking into house and land packages and using their First Home Owners Grant. It really is turning into a race to the finish-line.” CBRE’s Residential Projects Director Nick Clydsdale said it was a case of first in best dressed for first home buyers. “The Gold Coast continues to exhibit buoyancy, sound market fundamentals and growth,” Mr Clydsdale said. “First time buyers just need to know where to look for the opportunities,” he said. Mr Clydsdale said there are projects on the Coast designed to help first home buyers who are on tight budgets. “There are specific incentives available to younger buyers …” he said. “At Otto in Mermaid Beach, first home buyers can build their deposit while their home is being built.” OTTO Mermaid BeachTIME is running out for first home buyers to secure a $20,000 First Home Owners Grant with a deadline of June 30. The Queensland Government’s First Home Owners Grant (QLD FHOG), offers a $20,000 grant but it will revert to its previous amount of $15,000 in the new financial year. last_img read more

PCG-Negros beefs up port monitoring

first_img PCG has deployed personnel and K9 units to ports in Pulupandan, Cadiz City, Sagay City, Escalante City, San Carlos City, along with the Bredco and Banago ports in Bacolod City. Benjamin ordered sub-station commanders to inspect the equipment on all vessels before allowing them to leave port. Newly-appointed PCG-Negros Occidental chief, Lieutenant Commander Jansen Benjamin, said they are on full alert “Oplan Byaheng Ayos, Pasko 2019” under the directives of overall PCG commander, Admiral Joel Garcia.   He said that Coast Guard personnel werealso deployed to check passengers’ baggage prior to thier boarding. Currently,the number of passengers at the province’s ports remains normal. However, Benjaminsaid they expecting an influx of passengers in the coming days as Christmas Dayapproaches./PNcenter_img BACOLOD City – The Philippine Coast Guard has started monitoring various ports in Negros Occidental just days before the start of holiday season. last_img

Lady Bulldogs Softball Team Falls To Lady Cats

first_imgThe Franklin County Lady Wildcats beat The Batesville Lady Bulldogs 12-5 in Varsity play.Batesville vs. Franklin County Varsity Softball (4-17)The Lady Wildcats also win 19-6.Batesville vs. Franklin County JV Softball (4-17)Batesville Varsity falls to 0-5 for the season and 0-4 in The EIAC.The Lady Bulldogs JV is also winless at 0-4 and 0-3 in conference play.Batesville will travel to Madison on Saturday (4-19) for a doubleheader.Submitted by Batesville Coach Jody Thomas.last_img

Bitter cold, ice and snow

first_imgWilmington, Oh. — Expect snow and freezing rain to start the day on Friday. Little or no accumulation is expected. Temperatures continue to rise through the weekend, Super Bowl Sunday, forecasters say expect partly sunny conditions and a high near 60.An area of high pressure moving across the Ohio Valley Thursday will create downward motion that will keep conditions dry. Snow will develop Thursday night into Friday with one inch expected. Friday morning precipitation will be a winery mix that should taper off by mid-morning Friday.For safety tips from the Indiana State Police click here.last_img

Mariners Move on to NAC Semifinals with 12-5 Win Over Thomas

first_img House fire in Winter Harbor – October 27, 2014 admin Hancock County Court News Nov. 3 thorugh Dec. 11 – January 22, 2015 Latest posts by admin (see all) The ball squirts out during a face off between MMA’s Philip McNerney (13) and Mitch Bickford (8) of the Terriers.—MIKE OLESCastine — Freshman attacker Brian Corain (Berwick, ME) had a 6 point afternoon as the Maine Maritime Academy Mariners beat the Thomas College Terriers 12-5 in a North Atlantic Conference Quarterfinal men’s lacrosse game played Saturday afternoon at Ritchie Field.Devin Cooper (24) of the Mariners hammers Thomas attacker Jeremy Parmely (18) during MMA’s NAC quarterfinal win over the Terriers.—MIKE OLESWith the victory, MMA improves to 8-3 while Thomas ends their season at 4-7. MMA will move on and play at Mount Ida on Wednesday.MMA (8-3,7-2 NAC) got 4 goals from sophomore Chris Keiley and 3 goals from senior Garrett Lake. Brian Corain collected 2 goals to go along with his 4 assists while Nick Lund added 2 goals and an assist. The Mariners had 11 assists in their 12 goals. Daniel Redmond (Westbrook, ME) made 20 saves for the Mariners on 45 Thomas shots picking up his school record 8th win of the year. Peter Betti (Upper Saddle River, NJ) led the Mariners with 9 ground balls in the game. For more sports stories, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American. This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text Latest Posts State budget vs. job creation – January 22, 2015 Biolast_img read more

Abdool steers TT U-19s to regional title

first_imgSHANIA Abdool guided TT out of trouble to lead the defending champions to a seven-wicket victory over Windward Islands and claim the Cricket West Indies (CWI) TT Women’s Cricket Association 19 and Under T20 title at the National Cricket Centre in Couva, yesterday.It was TT’s second youth cricket title in as many days after the TT Under-15 boys team won the CWI Regional Under-15 50-over title, on Saturday.Windward Islands may have had the psychological edge going into the match after defeating TT in the final round of the preliminary stage on Saturday, but TT showed their mettle when it counted.Batting first, Windward Islands started briskly in getting to 51/1 in the 11th over with Qiana Joseph and Jephenia Joseph at the wicket. However, when Jephenia was bowled for 21 by Djenaba Joseph, TT roared back to reduce Windwards to 66/4 in the 14th over.A 32-run partnership between Qiana and Shawnisha Hector left the match hanging in the balance. TT then snatched four wickets for 19 runs, including the prized wicket of Qiana for a top score of 65, as Windward Islands closed on 117/8 in 20 overs. Qiana faced 49 deliveries and struck ten fours and one six.Djenaba was the best bowler for TT, grabbing 3/18 in four overs, Alysha Gomez snatched 3/25 in three overs and April Ramoutar took 2/15 in four overs. Other than Qiana and Jephenia, no other Winadward Islands batter got into double figures.The TT top order has been scoring heavily throughout the tournament but early wickets reduced the home team to a disappointing 9/3 in the second over. Shunelle Sawh (duck), Gomez (seven) and Reanna Farrow (duck) were all back in the pavilion early in the chase. Abdool found an able partner in Anjani Goordeen and the pair batted for the rest of the innings, getting TT to 120/3 in 13.2 overs to prevail with a seven-wicket win.Abdool ended on 59 not out off 40 deliveries with ten fours and Goordeen made 25 not out off 36 balls. Zaida James ended with figures of 2/10 in two overs.Team chemistry would have been crucial to TT’s success as all the players came through the Secondary Schools Cricket League Girls Hardball Programme and most of the team went on the SSCL tour to Canada last year.SUMMARISED SCORES: Windward Islands 117/8 (Qiana Joseph 65, Jephenia Joseph 21; Djenaba Joseph 3/18, Alysha Gomez 3/25, April Ramoutar 2/15) vs TT 120/3 (13.2 overs) (Shania Abdool 59 not out, Anjani Goordeen 25 not out; Zaida James 2/10).(Reprinted from Newsday)last_img read more