On April 9, 2011, the kids of Central-Cocoanut in Newtown hosted a neighborhood celebration to announce the big news about winning a statewide prize as one of 19 BEST Neighborhoods in Florida. The Herald-Tribune published a piece about it and ABC 7 broadcasted a story as well. News travels fast - not only were fellow neighbors and family members expressing happiness and pride with hugs, smiles and facebook posts, but also when the kids got to school on Monday, their classmates, teachers and principals were congratulating them. It is neat to see how media is contributing to community-building here in Sarasota County. Since then, the kids of Central-Cocoanut have been on a roll. Over the Easter season, the kids of Payne Chapel AME Church (located on Central and 19th) and the Central-Cocoanut Neighborhood Scavenger Hunters teamed up for a special mission. Using disposable cameras, they set out to take pictures of all the things they notice as signs of God's presence "on the block" and in our everyday lives. SCOPE contributed Audio-Visual equipment so that a slideshow of the kids' discoveries could be shown at the church on Easter morning.
Later in the week, SCOPE was contacted by a BBC reporter doing a story on Newtown, so the reporter was referred on to some residents in the community, and several of the Neighborhood Scavenger Hunters (who are also Gocio students) responded by sharing GOOD STUFF about the community, from their perspectives.
More great examples of neighbors and institutions coming together in the service of community-building.