Hundreds turn out for Henderson’s City Serve Day

24 churches, 21 Community Partners, 4 cities, 29 projects, 1000+ volunteers…Click for A City Serve 2015 picture gallery

glcityserve_3605_18048073_ver1.0_900_6756126252353126400Picture by DANIEL R. PATMORE

Henderson resident Alex Ramirez could’ve chosen many activities to occupy his Saturday morning.

What the 9-year-old did was grab a shovel and help volunteers prepare the East End community gardens located at Washington and Holloway streets.

Ramirez told The Gleaner that he likes gardening because, “It gives poor people food to stay healthy.”

This project was just one of many taking place in the community on Saturday as part of Henderson’s annual City Serve Day.

Hundreds of volunteers, including several local churches and organizations, dispersed to locations such as Riverview School, South Heights and Jefferson elementary schools, Central Learning Center and various community parks to take on projects involving anything from landscaping to picking up trash.

Henderson’s City Serve Day was held in conjunction with another City Serve Day, which also took place Saturday in Evansville.

Melodie Schrader, who organized the City Serve project at the community gardens, said, “This is our third growing season.”

“The front beds are for the community. Today we’ll hoe them up and plant them,” she said. “Everybody in the community who wants to can pick (produce from the front beds) which is free to the community. The back beds are assigned to neighbors who live in the area. They plant the beds and maintain them. They can donate the food or use it to feed their families. I know one lady who lives around here, came and picked a fresh salad every day, which is really neat.”

“We have some wonderful volunteers,” Schrader said. “Alex, he’s one of our neighbors. He and his family have a box in the back. This is his third season with us. He had his own box the first season. When we started this, it was really the first green space that had been around for a while, and the kids came out in droves.”

Audra Pirtle, a master gardener and City Serve volunteer, also spent several hours of her day at the community gardens.

“Today we’re planting tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, some herbs and goji berries. I hope we can do more of this in our city,” she said.

“I think (a community garden) is good thing to be able to help our community, to teach people where our food comes from and afford everybody the opportunity to have fresh food on their table.”

Henderson resident Stacey Vaughn also pitched in at the gardens Saturday.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “I’m picking weeds because I don’t have a green thumb.”

“I’d love to learn to plant flowers and keep them alive,” she said.

Vaughn said the project has brought back a lot of great childhood memories of gardening with her parents and grandparents.

“City Serve Day is important for the community to come together, work together and realize the importance of each other,” she said. “I feel like people don’t talk to their neighbors anymore or communicate with each other. I think it’s good to get everybody together.”

Ryan Nunn, team leader for City Serve Day, said, “We want to make our city better, by serving our city. Aesthetically, we’re going to some under-resourced schools such as South Heights and Jefferson and doing some landscaping. That helps give the students some ownership of their campus, and then we can be a presence and support for our local schools.”

The team being led by Nunn not only picked up trash in the East End, but also took note of graffiti and “potentially dangerous properties.” The information will be passed on to city workers so the graffiti can be cleaned up and decisions can be made regarding abandoned and dangerous structures.

“We have a lot of teams out. It’s not just churches, it’s organizations too, coming together to engage our city. It’s a movement and we’re just trying to be part of it,” Nunn said.

“The message is, whether we’re churches or organizations, we want people to see that we’re doing what we can do to build a great city … we’re taking our city seriously.”

“What makes a great city is doing everything we can do to guarantee our kids success … If we’re doing our part to make sure the next generation can succeed, that’s part of building a great city,” Nunn said. “I think cleanups and work days play a role in that because we’re showing the kids that this type of thing matters.”


College Tours-Giving kids a vision for their future

For the last 9 years, South Heights Elementary has been taking kids on college tours. This year the 5th graders went to University of Kentucky, the 3rd graders went to Murray State, the 2nd graders went to Kentucky Weslyan and the 1st Graders went to University of Evansville. One of the 1st grade students during the Q an A with the admissions staff asked “how to you get to college”. Of course the response was hard work and a passion to succeed all the way though school.

Principal Rob Carroll shared that when the 5th graders visited the UK campus, they ran into a former South Heights student who was now attending UK. He shared that he was on one of these South Heights tours almost 9 years ago and today he is a full time college student. The 1st graders also got to meet and spend some time with a South Heights graduate that attends UE.

Busloads of kids on 4 different university campuses with TShirts that say “I’m going to College”….The 1199 vision!

2015 City Serve

CityJoin churches and volunteers as they serve the city of Henderson in parks, neighborhoods and schools to make a difference.


When: Saturday, May 9th Time: 8a to noon

Where: Meet at 8a at the new location of Audubon Kids Zone in Henderson’s East End at the corner of Letcher and Powell

Projects include(but not limited to):

Parks group-Henderson-South Heights School-Heath Farmer

-Jefferson School-Jon Tabor

- Central Learning Center-Matt McCraw

-City Parks-Robby Mills and Ryan Nunn

Bennett Memorial-Henderson-Community One housing projects-Lori Reed, Matt McCraw, Ryan Nunn

-Street to street trash pick up-Ryan Nunn

-Community Garden preparation-Melody Schrader

-Bennett Memorial-Wayne Bennett

Bring a friend, bring your church, bring a trash bag, bring a broom/rake or bring a project, but most importantly

Party and celebration to follow with food and fun at Bennett Memorial parking lot at 503 Letcher Street at noon.

For more information call Ryan Nunn at 279.860.1064 or Matt McCraw at 270.748.1201

260,000 Leaders in 875 cities

2015WebBanners_350x250The Global Leadership Summit is in it’s 21st year and has become the premier annual leadership event to attend! On August 6th and 7th, you will be able to experience the Global Leadership in one of four tristate locations in Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky:

Evansville East at Crossroads Christian Church 

Evansville West at One Life Church-West

Owensboro Kentucky at the Owensboro Convention Center (provided by C12 Tristate)

Henderson Kentucky at One Life Church Henderson

We are looking for partner churches in all four areas of the tristate. If you are interested you can contact Bob Seymore at to connect to the coordinator at the venue nearest your church. The basic requirements of a partner church are found by clicking here.

This years speakers include some familiar names like Bill Hybels, Jim Collins and Craig Groeschel with some new faces like Ed Catmull from Pixar, Horst Schulze from the Ritz Carlton Corporation and Brian Houston from Hillsong Australia.

Here’s the complete 2015 faculty…


Why leverage the GLS as a resource for your church or organization?

Here is a survey based on participants and the impact of these two days:


Cultivating Soft Skills in Workforce Development: K-12 Initiatives

Join this free webinar….

Session Description: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 9.6 million unemployed people in the United States in August 2014, while at the same time there were 4.8 million job openings. While a lot of attention is paid to the lack of technical skills that job candidates possess and the need to invest more in training for STEM jobs, it is also true that one of the biggest barriers faced by employers when hiring is the candidates’ lack of “soft skills” (e.g., being able to communicate effectively, think critically and be a reliable team player).

During this Exploring Innovation webinar series from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, we will hear from leaders in education, academia and business regarding what it means to have a workforce that possesses the soft skills demanded by employers. We will highlight innovative approaches to acquiring and developing these skills in early childhood, K-12 and higher education — strategies that are positioning communities to have a thriving talent pool for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Click here to join the session using the webinar feature.

Delaware Elementary-One Life Kids

This webinar on April 16 will provide insight into what is being done during the school-age years to prepare our future workforce with these invaluable soft skills. In this second of three webinars, participants will learn:

The importance of continuing to develop soft skills from kindergarten through 12th grade…

-How a leading manufacturing firm came to embrace and actively support the development of soft skills among high school students

-How a network of high-performing charter schools in St. Louis is having success with their character education program

Next session is May 7, 2015 — Cultivating Soft Skills in Workforce Development: Higher Education Initiatives

Listen to the archived first session: March 5, 2015Cultivating Soft Skills in Workforce Development: Early Childhood Initiatives


1199 Love Banquet..2015

The South Heights Kids take their families out for the evening.

From Principal Rob Carroll in his weekly staff newsletter…

I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about Saturday night’s big event…”The Love Banquet!” This is truly a one of a kind happening.

Let’s review: Our students earned hundreds of Blazer Bucks in the fall to spend at Santa’s Treasure Island Mall. As you know, they always try to buy for their families first. One of the options, the last two years, is the Love Banquet…a night of food and entertainment offered by a partner of ours!

If you haven’t been…you almost can’t comprehend the “bigness” of it!

IMG_9207Students and their families arrive to a grand dining room that extends through the whole building! They are welcomed by hostesses in white shirts and black pants. As the evening rolls on, our families are fed delicious meals (brought to their tables by volunteer servers), provided with incredible entertainment (thank you Beauty and the Beast cast, Anthony and Mr. DBO), had the chance to win over $2500 in giveaways, and were lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet and listen to former UK/NBA star Kalenna Azubukie!

What a night? Let’s look at the numbers: 280 guests, 100 volunteers, $2500 in giveaways, and $4000 for dinner and extras. That just tells part of the story though. This means so much to the 1199! True partners are not easy to come by. We are blessed with several. This event, in our minds, is such an incredible outpouring of “love” in our students’ direction! Why? Because the volunteers from One Life Church don’t have to do this. That is what makes it so powerful. They choose to! hundreds of hours of planning and preparation with the only outcome being “love” and they chose our kids! Cynthia, Ryan, and the rest of the volunteers…just like you showed our students such incredible love…we want you to know that the feeling is mutual. We care about who cares for our students. It is obvious you do!

This is not about churches and schools. It’s about partners coming together to benefit our kids! ILARAMBAS and thank you! ….Rob Carroll

Audubon Kids Zone


Plans in works for Audubon Kid Zone in the East End

Erin Schmitt…9:52 PM, Jan 20, 2015

Community development in Henderson is taking another strategic step forward.

Plans are in motion to create Audubon Kid Zone East End Hub — which will address neighborhood children’s needs from prenatal to career.

Representatives from various community entities have been meeting at Shoney’s Restaurant on Tuesdays for three years to discuss priorities in the East End. A group of them spoke at the Henderson County Board of Education meeting Tuesday night to announce their newest, and what they consider greatest, project.

“It is the idea of building and knowing every child in that neighborhood that’s under-rescourced,” said Community One Director Lori Reed.

She added that it’s also about building and knowing institutions that serve children and being able to identify gaps. The Audubon Kid Zone intends to build collaborations where the gaps are so children are better served.

The project is in program design mode, but Reed said they have received a six-figure contribution from a private donor to get started. The city of Henderson has also pledged support with money and human resources for the building project and beyond, said Henderson City Commissioner Robbie Mills.

“It’s a good idea to build parks, it’s a good idea to put curbs and gutters in and to help people improve their housing, but when you start helping children with their future, that’s where we’re doing big work,” Mills said.

The next step in community development is strategically linking what is being done with affordable housing with what educators are doing in schools, Reed said. The Audubon Kid Zone East End Hub would serve students from South Heights, Jefferson and possibly East Heights.

“We feel like we’ve done a lot of good work, but we still aren’t getting the levels of success from our kids from conception to career,” said South Heights Principal Rob Carroll. “We realize you can’t just do it as a school.”

The group plans to come back before the board when it has more concrete plans, said Buzzy Newman, assistant manager for the city of Henderson. The group will also consider expanding into other neighborhoods.