Cox And City Of Parma Renew Commitment To Leadership For Tomorrow
Due to the generosity of Cox Communications, the Leadership for Tomorrow field trips will continue for Parma City School District fourth-graders. The program, which teaches local students about municipal government, again faced termination due to budget cuts but will be fully covered with Cox Communications’ most recent donation of $5,000.
The donation will cover the entire cost of the program, which encompasses 10 visits by eight public schools in the district. For its part, Cox intends to also work with students living in public housing or relying on nutritional assistance programs to learn more about the inner workings of local government via Connect2Compete, a low-cost internet offering that helps low-income families bridge the digital divide and stay engaged in at-home learning and online collaboration.
“Leadership for Tomorrow gives students an inside look at the inner workings of local government and the importance of civic engagement,” said Robert Brill, market vice president for Cox Communications. “When it comes to learning more about government, a future career, or educational opportunities, we believe programs like Leadership for Tomorrow and Connect2Compete go hand-in-hand by offering every student the chance to gain access to the resources they need to plan their futures.”
Co-founders of the Leadership for Tomorrow program – City Treasurer Tom Mastroianni, Mayor Tim DeGeeter and the late Anthony Zielinski, who preceded Mastroianni as city treasurer – wanted to help young students learn about how local government works.
The program brings local fourth-graders to city hall, where students hold a mock city council meeting about an issue the class has chosen to consider. Students then travel to the Parma Justice Center, where they learn about the court system and have a mock trial for a “crime” such as not completing homework assignments.
“We have seen firsthand the enlightenment Leadership for Tomorrow sparks in our community’s children, and we’re delighted to have this support from Cox Communications,” DeGeeter said. “By offering resources like Leadership for Tomorrow and Connect2Compete, we help ensure students have the tools they need to succeed in school and beyond.”
Mastroianni, who acts as emcee and tour guide for the students at city hall, said, “We are once again grateful for the financial support from Cox in this year’s Leadership for Tomorrow program. Students from Parma’s public and private schools will continue to have the opportunity to learn from community leaders about important government functions, gaining invaluable exposure to their role in shaping municipal programs and processes.”
Charles Smialek, superintendent of Parma City School District, also praised the program. “The Leadership for Tomorrow program, in partnership with the city of Parma, is an asset for the community and our children,” he said. “As demonstrated by Cox Communications’ continued support, it showcases the positive impact of good corporate citizenship and how we can all work together to give our students and families exciting opportunities for advancing their learning and awareness of the world around them.”
Carolyn J. Kovach
Communications Director, City of Parma, Mayor's Office