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Times Editors Believe in Geneva 2020

Posted on Friday, March 29, 2013

Following the launch of Geneva 2020, the editorial staff of the Finger Lakes Times published an editorial about the program. It noted, "Our opinion: The city school district should get a boost from Geneva 2020."

The editors started with the question, "What do Cincinnati, Ohio, and Geneva, N.Y., have in common?" They went on to explain how a program in Cincinnati was the Geneva 2020 model and inspiration for Colleges President Mark Gearan:

"While serving on the White House Council of Community Solutions he learned of a fabulously successful initiative in Cincinnati, a collaborative effort between various sectors of the community to tackle a student achievement crisis in that city's public schools."

He thought: If it worked there, why couldn't it work here?"

The piece explains some of the key elements of the program and concludes, "People in Geneva do get behind good causes. And, if they can do it in Cincinnati, we most certainly can do it here."

More information about Geneva 2020 is available on the website.

The full article follows.


Finger Lakes Times
OUR OPINION:
The city school district should get a boost from Geneva 2020.

March 28, 2013

What do Cincinnati, Ohio, and Geneva, N.Y., have in common? On the surface, perhaps not much. The "Queen City" in the southwest corner of Ohio has nearly 300,000 residents; its greater metropolitan population of 2.1 million makes it the 27th-largest urban area in the U.S.

Compare it to our fair city's 13,000-plus, which doesn't even crack the top 60 among cities in New York state.

Some may recall the Geneva Redlegs were once a minor-league affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, but that was a half-century ago.

These days, however, there is a strong connection, fostered by Mark Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. While serving on the White House Council of Community Solutions he learned of a fabulously successful initiative in Cincinnati, a collaborative effort between various sectors of the community to tackle a student achievement crisis in that city's public schools.

He thought: If it worked there, why couldn't it work here?

People in Geneva do come together for the common good, as evidenced by the community playground built last year and programs such as Geneva Reads, Success for Geneva's Children and many others.

So, from that foundation, "Geneva 2020" was born. The initiative is geared toward assisting the Geneva City School District by harnessing the resources of the Colleges, nonprofit agencies and businesses throughout the city.

Meetings were held, a big-time steering committee was formed, and, on Tuesday, the initiative was officially launched with a kickoff event at HWS that was filled with energy and optimism.

Among the program's 114 priorities are three primary ones: bolstering the city public school district's graduation rate, literacy levels and career and college preparedness by the year 2020.

Katie Flowers, HWS director of Community Engagement and Service Learning, and Pat Heieck, the Colleges' volunteer program coordinator, will drive the initiative by collaborating, disseminating and integrating information. The steering committee is a who's-who of some of the most influential, well-connected and - perhaps most importantly - community-minded folks in the city. Others will be called on to lend their expertise as well.

Quite a lot of work lies ahead, and the agenda is both weighty and ambitious, but the fervor for the program can be judged simply by the number of people who attended the launch - organizers hoped for 40; they got nearly 100.

People in Geneva do get behind good causes. And, if they can do it in Cincinnati, we most certainly can do it here.

 

 

 


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