Mayor Alvin Brown thanked Wayne Hogan at an end-of-summer celebration for JaxParks’ Summer Night Lights (SNL) for donating $35,000 to this successful crime prevention initiative for youths that operates in select parks each summer.
At the event, Wayne and the Mayor issued a challenge to local businesses and civic groups to support one of SNL’s programs next summer. ”Because these SNL programs work, and because they have proven effective, I am sure more businesses and civic groups will support them, so we can help even more kids next year,” Hogan said.
“We work very hard to invest in the next generation through quality programs,” Mayor Brown said. “We also are stronger when we work together. So it is my hope that Wayne’s commitment will serve as an inspiration to others in the community.”
As an agency partner in the SNL initiative, Sheriff John Rutherford also commended Hogan’s efforts. “As a long standing partner in public safety, I would like to thank Wayne Hogan for stepping up and personally ensuring that this important crime prevention program occurred this past summer,” Rutherford said.
As part of a larger $200,000 commitment made during Jacksonville’s 2012 Economic Summit, Hogan donated $35,000 to SNL 2013, allowing JaxParks to offer several new teen-based programs aimed at providing career experiences, team-building activities, dance and mentoring. Programs included School Beats Academy, an eight-week program that introduces teens to careers in the music industry; Unified, an eight-week mentoring program; Mayne Event, an eight-week program that teaches step dance and rhythm, SNL’s sports activities geared to develop sports skills and emphasize teamwork; and, Thursday Youth Education Nights, a diverse array of education classes based on the Learn2Earn model to help prepare youth for life after high school. Approximately 500 teens attended these programs.
One of those programs, School Beats Academy, teaches youth about science, math, engineering, technology and the arts through pop culture and music. Students not only develop skills in audio production, they also learn about entrepreneurship, communication, critical thinking and storytelling. School Beats Academy founder, Troy McNair, said he saw something special happen with the kids when he had a chance to work with them.
This is the fourth year for SNL. The initiative geared towards youth ages 13 through 21, operates at select parks for eight weeks on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to midnight. All activities are free. This year’s SNL hosted six locations: Clanzel T. Brown, Grand Park, Robert F. Kennedy, Emmett Reed, Woodland Acres and McGirts Creek. Additional sites hosting pool-only activities included Charles Clark, Harts Road, Jefferson St. and Eugene Butler. There were approximately 17,000 visits to SNL sites during the summer.
Below are some 2014 Summer Night Lights partnership opportunities:
Programs & Projected Costs:
Program provides nutrition classes for a healthy future
Mayne Event $1,280
Program teaches step dance and music rhythm choreography techniques
Program uses science and engineering concepts to create “robots”
Art League $9,000
Program offers instruction in comic book and cartoon illustration
School Beats Academy $9,200
Program introduces youth to careers in the entertainment industry
Unified Productions $2,000
Program provides mentoring and entertainment
Youth Education $22,500
Program offers activities to help teens be successful after high school