Federal and Local Leaders Participate in Town Hall Highlighting D.C. Promise Neighborhood Initiative

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U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and America's Promise Alliance's Chair Alma Powell will join representatives from the D.C. Promise Neighborhood Initiative (DCPNI) for a town hall on Wednesday, April 27 at the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools (CCPCS) for Public Policy's Parkside Campus in Washington D.C. CCPCS is one of 21 grantees awarded a U.S. Department of Education Promise Neighborhoods planning grant last fall.

Upon arrival, Duncan, Barnes, Gray, Powell and other guests will visit the National Children's Medical Center's mobile pediatric van to learn how the Medical Center partners with DCPNI to provide weekly pediatric and monthly dental services to the children and young adults in the Parkside-Kenilworth community. From there, DCPNI Project Director and CEO of Chávez Schools Irasema Salcido will welcome the four guests, DCPNI representatives, stakeholders and community members to a town hall in Parkside High School's gymnasium. DCPNI representatives, Salcido, Oramenta Newsome, executive director of D.C.'s Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Barbara Kamara, early child learning consultant, Marcus Clark, executive director of the Paradise-Parkside Community Center, and Trevon Epps, a CCPCS student will each deliver a brief presentation highlighting DCPNI's work toward building a cradle to college continuum. Following the presentations, Salcido, Duncan, Barnes, Gray, Powell and several DCPNI representatives will hold a question and answer session with an audience of DCPNI partners, current and prospective funders, community residents and students.

DCPNI consists of partnerships among more than 70 organizations including CCPCS, America's Promise Alliance, The Urban Institute, Georgetown University, East River Family Strengthening Collaborative, CityInterests, and community residents, school leaders, and many other stakeholders. Together, they are working to utilize the $500,000 planning grant in ways that will enhance the educational opportunities and provide social services to the more than 6,000 residents and 2,000 children living in D.C.'s Parkside-Kenilworth community. DCPNI's mission is to increase the number of children who complete their education from cradle to college, enter adulthood as productive participants in the 21st Century economy, and participate in civic initiatives in their communities.

Note: Media interested in attending Wednesday's town hall should RSVP to [email protected] by 3 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, April 26. Street parking is available around the school building. The entrance to the gymnasium is located at the southeast corner of the building at Hayes St. and Parkside Pl. All guests must be seated in the gymnasium no later than 9:20 a.m. EDT.