Thursday, November 25, 2010

Keys Center Academy

So what was Chuck doing helping himself to fruit at a private function at Mangoes Restaurant on Tuesday? He was celebrating the middle of another strong year for the Keys Center Academy for Girls.
Mangoes Restaurant put on their annual incredible spread for the youngsters who go to school at my wife's place, the Keys Center Academy, so this essay is entirely appropriate for today's particular holiday, giving thanks and eating food. I had two pieces of French Toast and they were both excellent like all the food which kept our server running between all the tables. Keys center Academy is a special school, and it's designed to help young students who don't do well in the regular high school. Some people think the Academy is for underachievers or problem kids who get shunted off to the sidelines. In fact the girls who apply have to go through a rigorous interview process in which they convince the Academy bosses they really want to learn. If they get in, and only about two dozen qualify, they have to keep up their school work under the eagle eye of their instructors. The student/teacher ratio is so low (six to one on average I think) there is no way to avoid the work. My wife also instituted a no cell phone rule which has been amazingly successful.At Thanksgiving mangoes puts on a spread to celebrate the achievements of these youngsters who without the supervision of the Academy would be left by the wayside of the general school educational system. The Academy also demands parental interest and that's a change for parents who think the schools should manage their kids without parental help. Community members like Wayne and Lucy also get involved volunteering, and the kids enjoy their day out:Superintendent Joe Burke was seen yukking it up with program boss Carol, and as he's the man who keeps the Academy funded they are all happy to see him noticing their success.It was a great moment, sitting out on the terrace at 700 Duval, and program Office Manager Nan was helping herself.
The Academy also counsels students to help keep them on track, Miz Heather, the counsellor.
Duval Street looking good under the sun.
I was feeling pretty good myself, stuffed with mango, bagel, French Toast fried potatoes and iced tea. I hope Super Joe saw these young girls loving school, a big change in their lives. Onward and upward. A moment to give thanks.