MANATEE COUNTY -- The State College of Florida helped honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s memory this week by contributing to a series of service projects.
State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) has awarded $121,193 for 21 community projects as part of the communitywide 2014 MLK Day of Service. SCF received funding from the Florida Legislature to provide opportunities for Manatee County community members to participate in the nationwide effort to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of community service on Monday's federal holiday. In this pilot year, the grant is focused on the areas of Bradenton and Palmetto.
Carol F. Probstfeld, president of SCF will join State Rep. Darryl Rouson and Manatee County Schools Superintendent Rick Mills to help launch the day of service at 11:30 a.m. at Orange Ridge-Bullock Elementary school, 400 30th Ave. W, Bradenton, to celebrate a courtyard revitalization effort designed to inspire students to respect diversity and become ambassadors for Martin Luther King Jr.'s ideals. SCF donated $6,617 for the project.
Fifth-grade students who are visiting the MLK museum in Atlanta, Ga., also will attend the courtyard project and share experiences from their field trip. The project will begin at 9 a.m.
Mike Mears, vice president of SCF, will take part in a project with Ortygia restaurant.
Ortygia LLC, in partnership with Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, Am Vets and Elder Services, received $8,424 to provide meals to elderly, disabled and special needs residents who live in and around the Village of the Arts community. Participants will help deliver meals prepared at Ortygia from noon to 7 p.m.
County Commissioner Michael Gallen, Brabara Harvey of the Manatee County School board and Palmetto Police Chief Rick Wells will join Probstfeld, Jones and Rouson in Palmetto, where they will kick off renovations to the Kelly-Brown Center, 1701 Third Ave. E. Palmetto. SCF granted Education Consultants Consortium Inc. $8,500 to renovate the center in Palmetto to create a safe environment for youth.
The project is expected to be completed Monday.
Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County Inc. will encourage parents to read with their children by distributing books to students that address Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s values of community collaboration nonviolence, volunteerism and social equality.
Books will be distributed Monday at Kelly-Brown Center. The Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County Inc. received $6,528 for the project.
Other projects funded by the grants:
April Childers Consulting LLC will host a series of workshops, "How to Grow Your Business," to increase the knowledge base of Bradenton and Palmetto business owners. An essay contest also will be offered at a public school in Bradenton or Palmetto.
Beauty, Health, and Nature will host a workshop to educate young women about hygiene and hair care.
Black Entrepreneurs Club will host a workshop to teach minority students how to start their own business and encourage their entrepreneurship efforts through mentoring.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee County will provide breakfast for 500 at-risk youth, families and the homeless and give students backpacks filled with school supplies.
Charisma Café and Teahouse will host a "Mommy, Daddy and Me" tea party and activities, including family portraits, face painting, family-oriented games, art projects and storytelling.
201 Church of Christ will host a forum for African-American and Latino males to address the importance of good mental and physical health.
JJ Frost Holdings Inc. will host an event by offering a culturally diverse vendor fair with an opportunity for community members or groups to express their cultural heritage in dance or spoken word.
Sarasota-Bradenton Kappa Alpha Psi will provide computer literacy skills and training to increase students' overall academic performance and develop positive social skills through mentoring.
The Ivy Foundation Inc. will host a lunch and workshop to provide basic computer training to veterans and homeless youth in Manatee County.
Manatee-Sarasota Democratic Black Caucus will offer an eight-week civics course for minority students to equip young people with the skills to become responsible voting adults.
Natural Protection Inc. will provide a workshop to help young males and females develop healthy lifestyles that lead to improved quality of life and self-esteem.
Palmetto Youth Center will host "Unity the Path to the Dream," an essay and speech contest to help middle school and high school students understand the value of education and appreciate the diversity in the community.
Redeemed Christian Center will host a "Unity in the Community" celebration to promoting respect for diversity, wellness, and collaboration. Underprivileged students also will receive school supplies.
The SCF Collegiate School National Junior Honor Society and Diversity Club will host a workshop, "The Dream Preferred Project." Students also mentor, tutor and provide academic guidance to at-risk students in Manatee County.
Simple Science Books Corp. will give 500 free science books to students and provide hands-on projects to increase students' interest in science and mathematics.
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and Five Pearls of Excellence Inc. will offer "Social Media: Are Teens Killing the Dream" to explain how inappropriate uses of social media can limit teens' opportunities in higher education, employment, scholarships and military service.