Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bank of America recognizes "living room activists"

Tonight, Bank of America will recognize five groups as Local Heroes for working to improve their neighborhoods and the city. Thanks to nominations by Henry Principal Caren Trantas, West Mt. Airy Neighbors Executive Director Laura Siena, and long-time schools advocate (and Mt. Airy Baseball AA Championship Coach!) Kenny Holdsman, our work to promote Henry as a viable option for neighborhood families is among those being recognized.

Along with the recognition, Bank of America will make a $5,000 grant to a nonprofit of each Local Hero's choice. We are directing our grant to West Mt. Airy Neighbors, which will use the grant to further promote Henry to neighborhood families. Through the Mt. Airy Schools Committee, a joint project of WMAN and East Mt. Airy Neighbors, and ongoing work on its own, WMAN has long worked with area schools and neighbhors.

The reality here is that Nancy and I are merely the current and arguably most vocal proponents of Henry. We saw Henry as a good choice for our son because several of our friends already had their kids in the school and were having great experiences. Leslie Winder, who was there was a great voice from the inside, along with Greg Moore who later became H&S co-President, and John Carpenter, who was and continues to be an incredibly strong and reasoned voice in school discussions.

Going back a generation, neighborhood icons like Shelly Yanoff, the guiding power inside Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth...Shirley Melvin, who along with her Realtor father and twin sister, a'la Twin Realty, were early powers of WMAN...Dorothy Guy, who remains active in many important neighborhood issues...and less recognized but vital families like our neighbors the Blums, the Hills, the Ranieris, Nancy's folks...sent their kids to Henry, volunteered in the classrooms and advocated to their neighbors and elected officials, and worked with Henry's teachers and staff to make Henry the great school that it is.

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