VP of Axa Nathan Moore presents check to Julia Landon SchoolPhotos from the September 4, 2015 Downtown Council meeting. Mr. Nathan Moore, Vice President, AXA Advisors, along with his AXA team presented a $2,500.00 check to the Julia Landon College Preparatory and Leadership Magnet Middle School to support the upcoming 2015-2016 school year. AXA’s contribution will make an immediate impact on the school. Every year, AXA has demonstrated their commitment to support our local schools through volunteerism of their staff members as well as providing assistance financially -their contributions have made a difference in our community.

The photo includes the AXA team members, students, and the Julia Landon School Administrator and leadership instructor.

We had an exciting Downtown Council meeting this morning at the University Club where we recognized students for their outstanding leadership and award winning film that they produced as part of their leadership curriculum their 8th grade year at our DCPS partner school, Julia Landon College Preparatory and Leadership Magnet middle school. Proud parents and family members, along with the 4 students who produced the film that took home the Overall Best in Show film from last year’s Julia Landon 8th Grade Multi-media program, the school administrator, and their leadership instructor, Mr. John Manias were all in attendance to showcase the winning film of the 2014 Multi-media and leadership program.

Students and parents also participated in networking and self-introductions – those in attendance were awe struck by the students’ presence, confidence, and their ability to engage with us – What a great representation of their class – these students are our future leaders.

About the Downtown Council’s Education Committee
The Downtown Council committee’s mission is to involve our membership with mentorship activities, leadership development, and special projects that support our local educational institutions, enhance education efforts, and increase the overall well-being of the community. In the words of Ray Hays, “The commitment of business leaders like you will make a difference in the future of our community.”

For the past 7 years, the Downtown Council focus has been on our educational partnership with the Julia Landon College Preparatory and Leadership Magnet Middle School. The Julia Landon School is the only magnet middle school that has implemented leadership as its core curriculum. The Downtown Council assists primarily in the two areas of multi-media/leadership curriculum and mentoring. School Administrators discovered film equipment and decided to integrate the use of multi-media into the leadership curriculum. Ray Hays served as a consultant to the school and helped it bring its technology up to par in order for the school to start utilizing its film equipment for students to create and produce multi-media projects. Cynthia Farmer has helped to coordinate a mentorship program that matches a Downtown Council member/professional with a student. Over the past years, these programs have evolved and continue to grow with various activities and volunteer engagement.

The Landon School Multi-Media Project
The Landon School multi-media project entails a structured curriculum, Critical Thinking & Global Perspective, for eighth graders who are guided by their instructor and provided extracurricular help from Downtown Council volunteers through a series of workshops and panel reviews. The Downtown Council Education Committee coordinates with the leadership instructor to provide advice and interaction to the student filmmakers who are charged with producing a short video features on topics listed in the curriculum. Once the videos are completed, Downtown Council members review and critique the completed films – feedback is provided to the students and the overall best film is shown at the Landon Symposium. The Landon students who achieve the best in show receive acknowledgement from the Downtown Council and are invited together with their parents and administrators to showcase their film at the Downtown Council meeting. In the past, the Downtown Council collaborated with the Jacksonville Film Festival to showcase the overall best student film in the Film Festival’s Student Film Showcase. Thus, the student winners experienced the opportunity to show their work at both a Downtown Council meeting and the Jacksonville Film Festival, which adds to the student’s excitement and dedication to the project.

Mentorship Program
Based on the need of the school, the Downtown Council education committee will coordinate with the administration to match mentors with students. Mentors work with the administrators to meet with identified students to work on a variety of areas including tutoring, mentoring in improving self-esteem, and having the support from a professional who shows how much we care about the success of the student. In addition, we have participated as Judges for the History fairs, been ambassadors and greeters during first week of school, and participated in their honor roll lunches.

Through these two programs, the Downtown Council has provided its members the ability to give direct assistance to Julia Landon College Preparatory and Leadership Magnet Middle School and its students. The Downtown Council educational programs allows for personal as well as monetary support.

Fund Raising for the School
The Downtown Council donates books to the Julia Landon school library. Every book is signed by a Downtown Council meeting guest speaker including many great leaders, mayors, city councilmembers, artists, and entrepreneurs. The Downtown Council volunteers have helped raise funds for the school through ice cream sales and other activities. The newest initiative to provide support and funding for the school is the annual Painting of the PawPrints event. The Julia Landon School Film instructor, John Manias, led a team of Landon students who filmed a documentary of the 2013 Painting of the PawPrints which will be presented at a future Downtown Council Meeting. Through these types of activities, the Downtown Council provides opportunities for Downtown Council members to be part of something meaningful and special – contributing to the community, supporting education, and making a difference in the lives of our youth.


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