Downtown Council Education Committee

Downtown Council Education Committee

The 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 4 years, the DTC 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 DTC 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 DTC 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 DTC 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 DTC and are invited together with their parents and administrators to showcase their film at the Downtown Council meeting.  Additionally, due to the efforts of the DTC, the Jacksonville Film Festival also enters the overall best film in the Film Festival’s Student Film Showcase. Thus, the students winners have their works shown at both a  DTC meeting and the Jacksonville Film Festival, which adds to the students excitement and dedication to the project.


Mentorship Program.

The Downtown Council education committee coordinates with the administration to match mentors with students.  Mentors will 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 DTC 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’s library.  Every book is signed by a DTC meeting guest speaker including many great leaders, mayors, city councilmembers, artists, and entrepreneurs.  The DTC 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, will be leading a team of Landon students to film a documentary of this years’ PawPrints. Through these types of activities, the Downtown Council provides opportunities for DTC members to be part of something special – contributing to the community, supporting education,  and making a difference in the lives of our youth.

For more information contact Bruce A Fouraker at: