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Installation of the 2015 West End Community Council

 News  admin  18-Aug-2015  0  886 reads
Installation of the 2015 West End Community Council

On July 21st, 2015,  David Mann, Cincinnati Vice Mayor, installed newly elected officers of the West End Community Council. Also present was State Representative Christie Kuhns.

The new officers are:

The new President is Keith Blake.  

The new Vice President is Dave Petersen.  

The new Recording Secretary is Linda Petersen.  

The new Corresponding Secretary is Michael Beck.  

The new Treasurer is Jemelle Howard.  

The new Financial Secretary is Robert Killins.  

You can read their bios here

The Community Council Meeting Day & Time is the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6 pm

The Meeting Location is the Carl H. Lindner YMCA, 1425 Linn Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45214

UC President Santa Ono Donates $25,000 to West End School ...

 News  admin  24-Jun-2015  0  903 reads
UC President Santa Ono Donates $25,000 to West End School and Non-Profit

As reported by the press, University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono has once again turned down his yearly bonus, this time asking that his $200,000 bonus instead be given to 14 scholarships and charities.

The West End neighborhood will also benefit from his generosity, as a local school and a non-profit have been selected by him to be part of it:

• $15,000 for Taft Information Technology High School
• $10,000 for Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses

Dr. Ono is such a wonderful inspiration for all of us!

His wife, Wendy, is also very much engaged in West End by leading several community improvement initiatives.

We thank them both for the ongoing support and their commitment to Cincinnati!

UC President Santa Ono visits Hays-Porter Elementary to ...

 News  admin  24-Jun-2015  0  1056 reads
UC President Santa Ono visits Hays-Porter Elementary to read for the kids

Dr. Santa Ono, President of the University of Cincinnati, is a huge supporter of kids learning how to read! 

Together with Brent Cooper, a business leader and President/Owner of C-Forward, is a co-chair of the Read On! campaign

The "All Stars Read On!" campaign, also organized by Ono and Cooper, is bringing celebrity and sports figures into local schools and libraries to read books to children in conjunction with the Baseball Across the Region program.

As part of this campaign, Dr. Ono visited last Friday the Hays-Porter Elementary School, and posted on his Twitter: 

Great reading to 500 CPS preschool students this morning. They are my All Stars ‪#‎ReadOn‬

Read On!, the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region’s multi-year, regional campaign for early grade-level reading, has set out to ensure every child is reading successfully by the end of 3rd grade by 2020.  The Campaign – led by The Strive Partnership and the Northern Kentucky Education Council, in partnership with United Way of Greater Cincinnati - has engaged more than 70 cross-sector partners to align efforts around six research-based strategies that will drive 3rd grade reading achievement:  1) kindergarten readiness, 2) school attendance, 3) summer learning, 4) literacy interventions, 5) family engagement, and 6) building broad-based community will, including public sector support.  The Campaign footprint encompasses seven counties, two states, and 19 public school districts.  In this region, more than 33,000 children (age 0-9) live below 200% of the federal poverty line.

Dr. Ono and Mr. Cooper are willing to go the extra mile to get the community aware of the need for kids to learn reading: 

#‎iamcps‬ ‪#‎allstarreaders‬ ‪#‎uc‬ ‪#‎cincinnatireds @PrezOno

Hays-Porter Elementary School hosts Training

 News  admin  09-Jun-2015  0  1113 reads
Hays-Porter Elementary School hosts Training

Hays-Porter Elementary School hosted today, June 9, 2015, a "train the trainer" workshop for teachers & volunteers to teach computer science to K-5 kids, provided by has developed an elementary school curriculum that allows even the youngest students to explore the limitless world of computing- at no cost for schools. The courses blend online, self-guided and self-paced tutorials with “unplugged”activities that require no computer at all. Each course consists of about 20 lessons that may be implemented as one unit or over the course of a semester. Even kindergarten-aged pre-readers can participate.

This high-quality professional development workshop was led by K-5 Facilitators, who are experienced computer science educators.

Workshops last 6-7 hours and prepare the participants to teach the Code Studio courses for grades K-5. Attendees also received free classroom supplies to teach the course.  

This is only the 2nd time that this workshop is taking place in Cincinnati, and in both cases, it was held in the West End community. Last year, it was hosted by the Taft Information Technology High School

We appreciate the help of Hays-Porter Elementary School Principal, Ms. McClain, in making this event possible again in West End! 


Summer Enrichment Program started @ Hays Porter

 News  admin  05-Jun-2015  0  1443 reads
Summer Enrichment Program started @ Hays Porter

Families Forward started on June 2, 2015, the Summer Enrichment Program at Hays Porter Elementary School

One of classes is "Introduction to Computers" at two levels: one for kids in Grade 1-2, and and one with kids in Grade 5-6

Enrichment programs increase grade-level promotion, graduation rates, college enrollment and community involvement. Because students are more engaged, schools experience fewer bad-behavior incidents, less absenteeism and lower dropout rates.

Research shows that over the long summer break students can lose about one month of what they learned in classes during the school year. For many children, the lost knowledge can harm their ability to move forward academically. 

Cincinnati Public Schools offers opportunities for students to keep learning over the summer.


More pictures from the classes are in the Photo Gallery


Hays Porter's computer classes featured on Channel 5 ...

 News  admin  26-May-2015  0  1963 reads
Hays Porter's computer classes featured on Channel 5 TV (May 25, 2015)

In a wonderfull report "Connecting kids and computers: Learning to codeTodd Dykes from Channel 5 TV station reported about the coding initiatives taking place currently in two local schools in the Greater Cincinnati area, one of them being West End's own Hays Porter Elementary School

Local volunteers, Michael Beck, Mark McFadden, and Karehma Simon have been teaching Hays Porter students for several months now, introducing them to coding using tools from, but also exploring the use of computers in creating music and drawing pictures.

This has been possible only thanks to the wonderful support provided by the Principal, Ms. McClain, and the help from Ms. Richardson and Ms. Matchett from Families Forward, Ms. Stewart-Adams from GRAD, and all teachers and staff at Hays Porter. 

The classes at Hays Porter are only the first step in Michael Beck's "Code for Kids" initiative that is focused on "building a Pipeline of diverse IT students to strengthen Cincinnati’s economy and prepare our region for the jobs of tomorrow!". 

The two immediate goals are:

  1. To increase participation in IT of women and underrepresented students of color in the Greater Cincinnati area. A basic understanding of software engineering provides a set of fundamental skills that is vital, both to the child's future and the future of Cincinnati's economy. 
  2. To improve problem solving and critical thinking by teaching kids how to code. Coding encourages them to become creators, not just consumers, of the technology they use.

By successfully implementing this initiative, we will create a foundation for transforming the West End neighborhood, currently a high poverty area, into a high-tech hub.

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants                                                                                   Sir Isaac Newton

The "Code for Kids" initiative builds on the wonderful work that was done by Cincinnati Bell at West End's Taft High School, that was transformed into a "Taft Information Technology High School", documented by the national media:

The goal is now to take Cincinnati Bell's concept of a concentrated effort that is laser-focused on one school only, and apply it to a whole neighborhood, such as West End.  

After-school Computer Training @ Hays Porter Elementary ...

 News  admin  26-May-2015  0  733 reads
After-school Computer Training @ Hays Porter Elementary School (May 18, 2015)

After spending several weeks on getting familiar with coding, using the tools from, the last couple of weeks the students spent on learning how to use computers to stimulate their creativity.

The excersizes involved creating music and drawing a painting.

The goal is to expose students to different areas of art and show them how easy it is to be creative by using a computer. 


More pictures are in our Photo Gallery

Graduation Celebration @ Taft IT High School (May 21, 2015)

 News  admin  26-May-2015  0  946 reads
Graduation Celebration @ Taft IT High School (May 21, 2015)

On Thursday, May 21, 2015, the Taft Information Technology High School celebrated the graduation of Class 2015!

The students shared their dreams for the future, as well as their education plans. 

Congratulation to the graduating seniors and good luck! 

More pictures are in our Photo Gallery


Career Fair @ Hays Porter Elementary School (May 15, 2015)

 News  admin  26-May-2015  0  1213 reads
Career Fair @ Hays Porter Elementary School (May 15, 2015)

Hays-Porter Elementary School organized on Friday, May 15, a fantastic Career Fair for its students.

Congratulations to the Principal Ms. McClain and the whole school staff, especially Mr. Griffith Keir, who was leading the organization of the event, for the wonderful work they did!

Special thanks to all the guests who came to share information about their jobs with the students: representatives from Cecil Thomas, LaRosa's, Boy Scouts, Cincinnati Sanitation, Metro, XOOPS, Channel 9 news, Vorys Law Firm, Cincinnati Fire Dept, US Bank and many more!!! 

More pictures are in our Photo Gallery


Talent Show @ Taft IT High School (May 12, 2015)

 News  admin  26-May-2015  0  687 reads
Talent Show @ Taft IT High School (May 12, 2015)

On May 12, 2015, Taft Information Technology High School organized its first ever "Talent Show"!

And they have proved that indeed, there is a LOT of talent in the school!

Congratulations to all organizers and to all the students who participated! 

Mare pictures in our Photo Gallery


Fine Arts Gala @ Taft IT High School (May 14, 2015)

 News  admin  26-May-2015  0  625 reads
Fine Arts Gala @ Taft IT High School (May 14, 2015)

Just two days after its very successful  "Talent Show" , Taft Information Technology High School presented on May 14, 2015, a "Fine Arts Gala" event, presenting art work created by the student. 

The school transformed itself for few hours into one huge Art Gallery, with hundreds of art items on display.

Many parents, as well as members of the West End community, came to participate in this event and support the students. 

This was a wonderful example of the Fine Arts talent at Taft IT High School. Congratulations to both the Students and the Teachers! Let's hope that the school will continue with it in the future, as it is very good for the school, as well as for the West End neighborhood.

More pictures are in our Photo Gallery.


West End Volunteer wins the 2015 CPS Education Pinnacle ...

 News  admin  26-May-2015  0  1976 reads
West End Volunteer wins the 2015 CPS Education Pinnacle Award

On May 7, 2015, the Cincinnati Board of Education announced that a West End volunteer, Michael Beck, has won the 2015 CPS Education Pinnacle Award

Michael Beck is chairing the Education Committee on the West End Community Council, and is volunteering in both Hays Porter Elementary School and Taft Information Technology High School.

He was nominated for the award by the Hays Porter Elementary School.

Michael has been volunteering in CPS for the last 10 years, starting at the AMIS (Academy of Multilingual Immersion Studies), where he organized the SHPE Robotics Club, and was also part of the LULAC Young Readers Program, SHPE Science Day, International Pi Day, and the recent celebration of National Robotics Week: April 4-12

At AWL (Academy of World Languages), Michael has co-organized for the last five years the "AWL International Festival"

He also supported the SHPE Junior Chapter at Withrow University High School.

At Hays Porter Elementary School and Taft Information Technology High School, Michael is focusing on building a pipeline of diverse IT Students to strengthen Cincinnati’s economy and prepare our region for the jobs of tomorrow. In addition to computer training and Web Development classes, this included participation in the worldwide "Hour of Code" event, both in Hays Porter Elementary School and Taft Information Technology High School  

Graduate of Leadership Cincinnati (Class 34), he serves on various Boards, among them Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Cincinnati USA, SWORWIB (Southwest Ohio Region Workforce Investment Board), SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers), UC School of Information Technology Advisory Board, XOOPS Foundation, City Manager's Advisory Group, and on West End Community Council.

For his community service he received many awards, among them LULAC Presidential Commendation Medal, Ohio Hispanic Leadership Award, Nuestra Familia Award from Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, Community Award from Links, Inc., and twice the "Spirit of Cincinnati" Award from Cincinnati CVB.

For the last 7 years he volunteers as a project coordinator for XOOPS, an Open Source Content Management System, which received several international awards.

Michael tirelessly promotes building bridges between cultures and nations. He speaks five languages: English, German, Spanish, Polish, and Russian.

In his spare time Michael teaches and promotes Salsa dancing, incl. breaking in 2014 the Guinness World Record in largest Salsa dance. He also holds Black Belt in Taekwondo, and is 2000 & 2001 US Champion in Full Contact Sparring.

About the CPS Education Pinnacel Awards

Cincinnati Public Schools has worked hard to become the best-performing urban district in Ohio. We achieved this milestone thanks to strong collaboration with community allies who share our commitment to the success of each individual student in our district.

Within our supportive community are individuals whose contributions to public education in Cincinnati have been instrumental to our success. To recognize their efforts to accelerate achievement in Cincinnati Public Schools, the Board of Education will present the annual Education Pinnacle Award. The award will be presented during a special ceremony in May at one of the Cincinnati Public Schools.

Who is Eligible?
Nominations will be accepted for individuals who are advocates for public schools and whose efforts have been instrumental to improving outcomes for students and enhancing support for schools. These individuals demonstrate the highest level of commitment to students’ success. Nominations require specific examples of efforts made to enhance the quality of education our students receive.

Taft IT High School student wins Cincinnati Youth Award

 News  admin  21-May-2015  0  5127 reads
Taft IT High School student wins Cincinnati Youth Award

(Photo: courtesy of Andria Carter)

Cincinnati West End's Taft Information Technology High School celebrates another win of one of its students!

After Ayriq Sims, a senior at Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School was chosen to receive a $5,000 scholarship from the Children's Defense Fund for 'beating the odds,' (read here), now Stevontay Davis was named the first winner of the City of Cincinnati Youth Award.

The award was sponsored by Cincinnati City Councilwoman Yvette Simpson and the Youth Commission of Cincinnati, to showcase the outstanding youth of our city.

Stevontay Davis is a role model for others, by achieving a GPA of 4.05 and ranking second in his class, and by volunteering in the community. His hard work, academic excellence and community service also earned him Young Scholars and Advocates for Youth scholarships and acceptance to The Ohio State University. 

The West End community is very proud of this achievement and congratulates Stevontay Davis for this outstanding recognition. Also, a big "Thank You" to the teachers and staff of the Taft Information Technology High School for doing such a great job in education!

The "West End IT Team" at UC IT EXPO

 News  admin  14-Apr-2015  0  1354 reads
The "West End IT Team" at UC IT EXPO

The "West End IT Team" that included students from both Hays Porter Elementary School and Taft Information Technology High School participated at the UC IT EXPO, representing the West End neighborhood! This was the first time that both schools were together as one team!

A big "Thank You" to the teachers (Ms. Beamon and Mr. Woodly from Taft), the principals of both schools (Ms. McClane from Hays-Porter and Mr. Turner fromTaft), the FamiliesFORWARD agency (Ms. Richardson and Ms. Matchett from Hays Porter), and most of all, the School of Information Technology at the University of Cincinnati (Dr. Said and Ms. Michael) for making it all happen!

The IT EXPO event features each year a guest speaker and senior projects on display by undergraduate students in the Information Technology program.

The projects represent the breadth of knowledge covered in the IT program and highlight the two primary areas of focus: Software Application Development and Networking & Systems. More info at:

Taft IT High School Student is 'Beating the Odds'

 News  admin  14-Apr-2015  0  991 reads
Taft IT High School Student is 'Beating the Odds'

Congratulations to Ayriq Sims, a senior at Robert A. Taft Information Technology High School who was chosen to receive a $5,000 scholarship from the Children's Defense Fund for 'beating the odds.' The CDF Beat the Odds scholarship and leadership development program recognizes extraordinary high school students who have overcome tremendous adversity in life to achieve academic excellence, demonstrate leadership in their communities and continue their education. Ayriq is one of five students to receive the honor in Ohio.

Ayriq is the oldest of seven children and takes pride in being a big brother to his four siblings. His single mother has struggled and the family has faced extreme poverty. Despite his responsibilities at home, Ayriq maintains a 3.36 GPA. He started a mentoring and tutoring program for middle school students and is a student ambassador at Taft IT. Ayriq hopes to study business at The Ohio State University.

The Beat the Odds program helps to raise awareness about the challenges facing Ohio's children and the need for continued investment and advocacy. The individual experiences and stories of young people like Ayriq inform CDF's ongoing efforts to shape policies and change the odds for all children.

Congratulations to Ayriq!

Source: Cincinnati Public Schools

UC Students helping with "Code for Kids" @ Hays ...

 News  admin  08-Apr-2015  0  999 reads
UC Students helping with "Code for Kids" @ Hays Porter Elementary School

Several UC students have been helping kids from Hays Porter Elementary School to learn how to program computers. They study at UC computer science, so this was a perfect match for them to share their expertise with the Hays Porter students.

This week, the kids were learning basics of JavaScript programming. 


More pictures are in our Photo Gallery

UC IT Summer Camp Presentation @ Taft IT High School (March ...

 News  admin  28-Mar-2015  0  1172 reads
UC IT Summer Camp Presentation @ Taft IT High School (March 26, 2015)

On Thursday, March 26th, Taft IT High School students participated in an orientation meeting about the upcoming DITLE Summer Camp at UC, with Rebekah Michael, the Director of this program.

The meeting was opened by Ms. Beamon from Taft IT High School, who is the Taft's coordinator for this program.

DITLE is a strategic educational initiative by the University of Cincinnati (UC) to prepare Cincinnati high school students for post-­‐secondary education and careers in Information Technology. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation and is implemented by a collaborative effort between UC’s School of Information Technology, UC’s School of Education, and partner high schools in the Cincinnati area.

The DITLE Summer program is a 3 week intensive summer IT day camp designed to give students a solid foundation in computer fundamentals, computer application development, database and networking concepts. The program is a hands on, project based, team oriented learning experience at the University of Cincinnati campus using UC state of the art equipment and instructors.

10 studens from the Taft IT High School will have the opportunity to participate in this fantastic program and learn the latest developments in the IT industry.


More pictures from this meeting are in our Photo Gallery

Taft IT High School starts first interviews of their ...

 News  admin  18-Mar-2015  0  1116 reads
Taft IT High School starts first interviews of their customers for Web Development

Taft IT High School students conducted their first "customer interview" with Mr. Payne, for whom they will be developing a brand new Website. 

Requirements gathering is an essential part of any project and project management, and by working on a real-life Web project, the students are learning practical skills that will help them to be successful in the future. Some of the criteria the students have gathered for this project were:

- Business Objective for the Website
- Website Design
- Website Features

As next steps, the students will work on identifying Best Practices for Websites in similar categories, and design a prototype for the Website.

More pictures are in our Photo Gallery

Celebrating International Pi Day (Saturday, March 14th)

 News  admin  18-Mar-2015  0  921 reads
Celebrating International Pi Day (Saturday, March 14th)

Last Saturday, March 14th, was a very special day, as it was most accurate Pi Day of the entire 21st century. 

Pi Day is celebrated every March 14 in honor of the mathematical constant pi. The symbol used by mathematicians to represent the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter is the lowercase Greek letter π, sometimes spelled out as pi. In English, π is pronounced as "pie"  

This year, the calendar date aligned with two additional digits of pi, 3.1415, which won't happen again until March 14, 2115.

And by taking additional five digts of Pi, 3.141592653at 9:26:53 AM the world was celebrating the "Pi of the Century".   

Thanks to the wonderful support from the Cincinnati Museum Center, and especially Terry Dickey and Regina Hall, we were able to offer to students of Cincinnati schools for free a very special program at the Cincinnati Museum Center that included fun activities in a STEM Lab, tour of the Museum of Natural History and Science, and OMNIMAX movie. As an extra souvenir each student received a T-Shirt and a gift back. 

Big Thanks to our wonderful sponsors:

- Cincinnati Museum Center
- SHPE Foundation
- GE Aviation
- Duke Energy
- Luxottica
- World Financial Group, Inc.
- RRight Now Communications, LLC and Regina Carswell Russo
Regina Tojo

More pictures are in our Photo Gallery

It was a great team work and we'll do it again next year
#piday #cincymuseum #shpe

Hays Porter Elementary School hosts "Family Prom"

 News  admin  18-Mar-2015  0  890 reads
Hays Porter Elementary School hosts "Family Prom"

Following its annual tradition, Hays Porter Elementary School hosted on Friday, March 13th, a "Family Prom" event. 

About 300 students, family members, teachers, staff members, and supporters, including members of the local police deparment,  munched, sang, danced and had some overall fun at this event in the school's gymnasium.

Family Prom is sponsored by FamiliesFORWARD as one of its student/family-engagement programs at the school. While a DJ provided music, family members could also have their portraits taken at the event.

More pictures are in our Photo Gallery

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