In This Issue: Myers Gains New Partner for Cleanup

Spring 2011
In This Issue:
Myers Gains New
Partner for Cleanup
Cafecitos—How to
host one—meet your
Creative Expression
Principal Julie McIntyre talks about
the afterschool theatre program at
A Letter From our President and CEO Anthony Simms Myers Neighborhood
Each of us has a talent that can be shared with others. When we share our talents, we are able to help those who can benefit from our talent. In the same manner, each of us can benefit from the talent of someone else. Neighborhoods are full of talented people. When neighborhood residents bring their talents together for the benefit of each other, wonder‐
ful things happen. Take for example the 29th Street Weed and Seed Coalition; they brought together their talents from various sectors within their community. Neighbor‐
hood associations, schools, busi‐
nesses, churches, libraries, community centers, residents, and other commu‐
nity organizations all came together and significantly improved their com‐
munity. Through their collective tal‐
ents, they successfully decreased vio‐
lence and crime, improved parks and neighborhood environments, pro‐
vided increase opportunities for edu‐
cation improvement, and are working on creating economic development activities. Like the 29th Street Weed and Seed Coalition, Myers Neighborhood Asso‐
ciation is mobilizing programs into its area, working to increase resident in‐
volvement, partnering with the school to provide youth with opportunities to improve their academic and social skills, and continuing to pursue activi‐
ties to empower their resi‐
dents. Because the residents of the Myers Neighborhood Asso‐
ciation are committed to shar‐
ing their talents; youth and families living in that neighbor‐
hood are destined to become more empowered. As a financial supporter of the Myers Neighborhood Associa‐
tion, Connecting Communities Foundation is excited to see so many people committed to empowerment. Empowerment is directly attributed to residents having access to the tools (the talents of others) and the neces‐
sary training on how to utilize those tools to improve their lives. According to McDowell & Needham (2009), the happiest days of our lives can be those in which we use our talents and abili‐
ties to help others help themselves. Join the fight for empowerment in your neighborhood by sharing your talents with those who live, work and play in your community. 2
On the cover: Myers‐Ganoung student from the Creative Expression program going over her lines. A Message From the President Myers Neighborhood Focus
Myers Gains New Partner For Cleanup Good Deeds Returned Local Business Owner Sees Less Crime The Proof is in the Pudding Myers Neighborhood Association Newsletter Cafecitos—how to host one—meet your neighbors— courtesy of PRO Neighborhoods Regular Features
Creative Expression: Julie McIntyre from Myers‐Ganoung talks about the afterschool theatre program. Health Awareness: YES Network wins grant from Delta Dental Educational Success: L.I.F.T—Homeless Teen Project L.T.I. Schedule Advertise with Us
Connecting Communities is published quarterly.
Advertising in Connecting Communities magazine is available at the following
President and CEO Anthony Simms Marketing/Operations Director Business Card
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© 2011Connecting Communities Foundation 633 N. 2nd Ave. Tucson, AZ
Teresa Westhoff Grants Manager Helen Schafer Executive Director Lisa Winton Community Development Specialist 3
Milini Simms Myers Neighborhood Feature
gains new partner for cleanup
By Anne Dalton December 4 was a bright fall day in
Tucson. If you stood in the sun, it
burned right through your jeans. On
that day, the Myers neighborhood
folks were gathered in George Henderson's yard to continue the efforts
begun 13 years ago as the kick-off to
Christmas in April, a national nonprofit working to preserve affordable
homeownership and revitalize communities. The neighborhood association regularly identifies neighbors who,
for whatever reason, are unable to
maintain their property on their own.
This was the first such event that was
held in December.
The recipients usually work alongside
the volunteers. Unfortunately, Henderson was inside with the flu that day
and apologized for not grabbing a
rake. Volunteers cleared dead grass,
collected trash and painted while
some reconstructed a back door
frame. The plan was to clean up the
yard, sand and repaint the fascia
along the roof edge and seal the roof.
Elastek Roofing Contractors donated
the materials to get the roof sealed.
Covering a range of ages, 20 volunteers labored in the yard outside the
one-story red brick home. But not all
were from the neighborhood. Lisa
Gunther, a member of the worship
team from Pantano Church off Houghton Road, worked in a red t-shirt and
jeans. Although the church is some
distance from the neighborhood, Lisa
explains her team at the church
wanted to do more than plan church
“We just thought we wanted to get our
hands dirty. Something to do with
walking the walk, not just having fun,"
she said.
Pantano is a non-denominational
Christian church with approximately
”I'm not sure how much
people know we're out
there. If something's going
down, we want to be a part
of it. We get so many more
opportunities working with
other organizations rather
than just our own. The
dream is that we all become
connected. If the need can
be known, we can get it
built," she (Gunther) said.
2,000 members. According to Glen
Elliott, lead pastor, the entire church
has been committed to outreach for
some time. It has an ongoing partnership with the 29th Street Coalition. The
Coalition is a partnership of five
neighborhoods obtaining Weed &
Seed federal grant funds to improve
the safety and quality of life in
When Gunther's team decided to do
extra outreach, they didn't start from
“Rather than reinventing the wheel
and starting our own projects, we decided to call around Tucson and see
who needed help,” Gunther said.
"We never turn down volunteers,"
Anita Hess, a Myers neighborhood
resident, said.
Gunther's enthusiasm for outreach
and confidence in her church's support are boundless. She insists that
with a membership as large as the
church's, there is every kind of volunteer available from making calls,
gathering donations, you name it.
She hopes they receive more challenges.
”I'm not sure how much people know
we're out there. If something's going
down, we want to be a part of it. We
get so many more opportunities
working with other organizations
rather than just our own. The dream
is that we all become connected. If
the need can be known, we can get it
built," she said.
Hess said that no matter where one
lives in Tucson, they could end up
dealing with the same problems
Myers is experiencing. She sees the
volunteer effort as an opportunity to
teach her children the importance of
community involvement. Sometimes
she and her husband will pay someone to work on their own home in
order to have time to help a neighbor
“We try to include kids. When they
see their parents out working on
someone's home and they come
along, it sets a good example."
John Dowdall, president of the NA,
was pleased with how the day went.
“The project went great. We’ll do it
again in April,” he said.
For more information:
Myers Neighborhood Association
Vickie Mesimier,
President 748-0862
Pantano Christian Church
East Tucson
10355 East 29th Street
Tucson AZ 85748
Recipes From Your Neighbors
This issues recipes are courtesy of Debbie Dowdall, member of Myers Neighborhood Association and wife of outgoing
association president John Dowdall. Thanks for sharing with us Debbie!
If you have recipes you would like to share please send them to me, [email protected] or 633 N. 2nd Ave.,
Tucson, AZ 85705.
1lb. hamburger
1/2 c. uncooked regular rice
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 c. water
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Mix first 8 ingredients. Shape mixture by rounded tablespoons into balls (12). Cook meatballs in a 10 inch skillet until
brown on all sides. While browning meatballs, mix the remaining ingredients in a saucepan. After meatballs are
browned, remove from skillet and place in saucepan. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Add
water during cooking if necessary.
2 (3 oz) raspberry Jello (make it with 1tsp. vinegar in 1 1/2 cup water)
Crush or finely chop: 1 lb. cranberries
1 orange
1 apple
Combine with 1 cup sugar then fold into slightly set up Jello
medium onions
garlic cloves, minced
tablespoon oil
cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
cans (15 oz each) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
cups chicken broth
can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
Corn chips, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and sour cream
In a skillet, saute the onions and garlic in oil until tender. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add the chicken, beans ,broth,
green chilies, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne; stir well. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until bubbly.
Stir in cilantro. Serve over corn chips; top with cheese and sour cream. Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts)
Myers Neighborhood Feature
By Anne Dalton Good Deeds Returned
April 14, 1999. An ordinary day to most, but the day of the 3rd
Christmas in April for Myers neighborhood. Dr. Clarence and
Marianne Conner's home got a new paint job.
April 14, 1999. An ordinary day to
most, but the day of the 3rd Christmas
in April for Myers neighborhood. Dr.
Clarence and Marianne Conner's
home got a new paint job.
Christmas in April Rebuilding Together, a national non-profit working to
preserve affordable homeownership
and revitalize communities, identified
Myers as an at-risk neighborhood in
1997. It had what they were looking
for. A high crime rate, low educational
levels and high unemployment.
Conner thought the paint peeling off
the walls and ceilings "just added to
the ambience" of the five- room house.
Conner was never one to worry about
appearances. As his life shows, he
enjoyed a certain amount of challenge
and chaos instead.
Doc is a tall and only slightly bent man
approaching 90 whose dazzling white
hair and far from ordinary face fit with
his adventurously altruistic life.
If you ask Doc Conner how he ended
up in Tucson, he'll tell you.
"Everything that happened to me was
because I've been so darned naive
and innocent."
A country boy trying to earn money to
go on to a four-year college, people
told him he could get help with tuition
by joining the National Guard. This
was in November, 1940.
"I had a music scholarship to junior
college, but no way to get a four-year
degree. I lived on a hamburger and a
glass of water a day and walked
8 1/2
miles back and forth to school," he
When he signed up with the Guard,
he was assured he would be on inactive status and could get financial
help with his education. Two weeks
later, he was ordered to report for
active duty as the country mobilized
its resources for World War II.
During the war, he served as combat
engineer and then a pilot in the Air
Corps, flying 50 missions in B-25
medium bombers in the Mediterranean theatre. He realized he wanted
to become a doctor. After discharge,
he returned to school and earned
B.S. and M.D. degrees on the GI bill.
He then performed medical exams
and immunizations for troops stateside during the Korean War.
Of all his experiences, however, his
most cherished was his medical
work in Papua, New Guinea. This is
a country located in the southwestern Pacific ocean, in a region defined since the early 19th century as
Melanesia. It is one of the most diverse countries on earth, with over
850 indigenous languages and at
least as many
traditional societies, out of a
population of
just under
7 million.
Doc Conner met
Marianne Denman when their
paths crossed in
the primitive land
in 1963. They
were both providing medical care
for the Enga tribe
as part of the
Lutheran church's
mission program.
Marianne was a
nurse struggling with other missionary nurses to fight diseases and injuries long forgotten in the West. Malaria, leprosy and wounds from tribal
warfare were common. Few supplies
were available. Wooden planks
served as beds with blocks of wood
for pillows. Sago palm leaves were
used to cover examining tables.
There were no vaccines with which
to immunize children against whooping cough and diphtheria, no anesthetics, no pain medications.
"The natives were very stoical. They
were used to hurting all the time," Conner recalled.
When he signed up with the
Guard, he was assured he
would be on inactive status
and could get financial help
with his education. Two
weeks later, he was ordered
to report for active duty as
the country mobilized its
resources for World War II.
Pigeon English was spoken to bridge
the language gap between the different
cultures and visiting missionaries.
Dr. Conner came with his wife, Margaret, and five children to serve. Being
the first doctor the church had sent to
stay long-term to New Guinea, his
presence was greatly
Since the small missionary staff
could not possibly meet the
needs of the many bush houses
spread throughout the West Highlands
District near Wabag, natives had to be
trained to assist. But the "doctor boys"
as they were called, were not used to
taking directions from women. Their
attitudes and attention to duty often
waivered resulting in calamities.
A note in Marianne's diary from that
time reflected the difference the doctor’s presence made.
"He provided the one thing we could
not provide; Male leadership."
Conner didn't feel like a leader when
he arrived.
"I was just a blind kid when I arrived.
Couldn't communicate with anyone.
Marianne began gently teaching me
with suggestions, 'Why don't you try
this...?' She was always the nurse,
never the doctor," he said.
Dr. Conner worked with the nurses to
begin a new school the following
January with a three-year curriculum.
The doctor boys went from administering cough syrup and taking temperatures to diagnosing illnesses, suturing wounds, removing small tumors
and installing IV's.
"They ended up being so dedicated,
they'd never leave their post even
when they were hungry or threatened," Conner said.
New Guinea culture personified the
phrase, "It's a jungle out there." It was
easy to incur enemies by committing
wrongs real or perceived and most
watched their backs
He trained and supervised the nurses to
perform duties doctors normally perform.
"The nurses had to be
able to do everything
the doctor did
whether it was helping with normal deliveries or breach births," he
said.Besides surgery and medical
expertise, Conner's background as an
came in
During a
children's lives a day, they had only
two choices for this incurable illness.
One was cortisone, but that was in
short supply. The other was steam.
Marianne's diary recounts the day
they found the solution.
"To give steam to a large number of
children was a problem until Doctor
Conner converted the delivery room in
the wards to a steam room. He7 cut a
hole in the wall and ran a hose
Continued on page 13
Myers Neighborhood Feature
Local Business Owner Sees Less Crime
By Anne Dalton police,” he said.
Police statistics agree with his observation.
A recent Police report tracking property crime in the 29 Street corridor
area between 2001 and 2010 indicates
a 54 percent decrease in property
crime for the five neighborhoods of
which Myers is one. Reduction in the
same category for Tucson is 28 percent.
For Myers neighborhood, YES Network stats tracked between August to
December, 2009-2010, indicate burglaries dropped by seven percent, in
just the last year, the most significant
reductions occurred in November and
On its Web page, the statement, “We
strive for 100% customer satisfaction
in every spa we sell” seems to be the
driving force behind the large customer base."
Steve Decook, co-owner of E-
When the store moved to Myers
Konomy Spa and Pool Supplies since
neighborhood from El Grande Center
1983, believes in partnering with the
at Columbus and 22nd in 2003, bur-
community. Since moving the busi-
glaries occurred all too often.“We got
ness to 4912 E. 22 Street in 2003, he
broken into a lot of
contributes regularly to important
times, mostly
neighborhood events.
equipment in the
He estimates he knows at least 5,000
back yard,” he said.
by name out of the 9,000 customers.
Fortunately, over
“Most customers are friends. You get
the last four years,
to know them really well after a lot of
Decook noticed a
years,” Decook said.
downward trend in
Although few homeowners in Myers
crime he attributes
neighborhood own spas or pools, he
to neighborhood
feels it’s a good location from which to
“It hasn't been a
problem for four
years. I think it’s
due to more law
enforcement, people communicating
with each other on what's going on. Fifty percent of the business is provid8
People that live in homes nearby are ing pool cleaning services. Decook
being more observant and calling the
serve the Tucson area, including
Green Valley. The lower rent for retail
space is helpful.
“I like this area other than the crime.
That seemed to be 100% drugrelated,” he said.
Thinking of buying a spa?
focuses his efforts on operating systems, insuring consistency on procedures and outcomes. He finds ways to
Here’s some advice from Decook.Think what
you really want to use the spa for.
measure whether techniques are
working. It all contributes to insuring
consistent quality service. It’s his job to
keep an eye on the latest technology.“If someone comes up with another way of doing things, we check
the numbers, and train staff in the new
technology,” he said.
“A lot of people think they’re going to have
big parties, so they buy a big tub. After a
year, they realize it’s usually just two
people using it most of the time.”
Keep it simple.
The company sells, installs and repairs
spas and pools. With the recession,
“A lot of people get carried away with
all the bells and whistles like stereos
and TV's and 100's of jets. The more
you have, the more can break down. After a year, people realize what’s really
important is just having the water hot
when they get in.”
Read the instructions for taking care
of your spa or pool and follow them.
selling spas and pools decreased
somewhat, but the demand for maintenance and service remained strong.
The recent record freezes added to
“Most people don't read the instructions
and just tinker. Each spa is a little different.”
Decook sees the business as offering
something unique to the customer because of the quality of their products
and services.
Do maintenance on a routine basis.
Rinse filters regularly.
“We try to do absolutely top quality
everything with service and products,”
he said. “Nowadays, if some busi-
Maintain a good chemical balance.
nesses can do the cheapest thing they
can do, that’s what they’ll do. If you
have something like a swimming pool
installed, that’s gonna be there forever. It’s important to do it right.”
Sales & Service
Myers Neighborhood Feature
the proof is in the pudding.
It's lunch time at the Recreational
Center at Freedom Park on East
29th Street.
The dining room is packed with 50 seniors and is noisy with conversation.
Anna Mooney, a short woman with a
welcoming smile and grey hair sticking
out from under her plastic cap is busy
organizing the lunch and serving.
Hank Ravenell, the city’s recreational assistant, is hard to miss. His
tall stature and booming voice is
easy to hear above the conversational hum. When he arrived three
years ago, there was a very small
program for seniors. He instigated
the expansion of the services. Although the center serves more than
senior citizens, he considers the
nutritional program one of its most
important offerings.
"We've seen a lot of improvement
in eating habits," Ravenelle said.
This and other programs were originally funded by a grant from Catholic Social Services, the City and
Pima Council on Aging. The program, like many of the seniors, is
now self-sufficient with ongoing
support from its members. They
hold raffles and rummage sales
and collect soda cans for cash. The
proceeds go to the center.
After the program grew, Ravenell
asked Mooney to take over as the first
president of the group.
Mooney is a long-time Myers neighborhood resident. She moved
By Anne Dalton here with her husband in 1961
from Rhode Island. She remembers her daughter learning to drive
in "the desert" which was, at that
time, the land around the neighborhood.
“My husband and I refer to the center
as our second home," she said. They
first came here because the Mooney's
daughter had bronchitis and they
never left.
meals is to come and participate in
the programs.
Mazie Lucas, a small 84 year-old
woman in a soft pink blouse with
matching camel-colored hat and
jacket, weighed 104 pounds when she
was asked to take a survey by the
Pima Council on Aging. As a result,
she was encouraged to eat a nutritional meal at least once a day. Transportation was arranged with VanTran
The nutrition program at the center is
for people 60 and older. They are
asked to donate $1.50 per lunch, but
it's not required and no income verification is conducted prior to attendance. The only requirement for the
and she was able to come regularly.
After that, she gained 11 more
Today, she sits at a table, her dish
filled with veal parmesan, green
beans, peppers and onions, raisin
Christmas show at the Gaslight Theatre to thank them for their contributions.
"They've done so much for the center, I
thought it would be nice if the center
could do something for them," Anna
People learn about the center activities
from PCOA's newspaper,
"Never Too Late" and word of
mouth. The social contact also
yields referrals to other services.
Currently, PCOA provides Van
Tran to take people to clinic appointments.
Some hesitate to come at first.
"It's a pride thing," said Hank.
“They don't want to take a hand
out. But when they come once
and see their neighbors here,
Humana buys a birthday cake each
month for the birthday parties and all they're more comfortable."
"Some people come from other
the entire Thanksgiving dinner. The
clubs to this one beFood Bank distribcause they say it's so
utes food boxes
Everyone attending re- friendly here."
once a month.
CCS contracts with ceives a written nutritional Mooney said.
Although much planan agency to proning has gone into
duce 1700 meals a
analysis of each meal.
the programs, a
day which are distributed all over the On the same page is an ex- strong positive environment has bloscity in five distribuplanation of the things that somed as well.
tion spots. FreeCape, 75 met
dom Park is one of
can derail healthy eating as Myrna
Ed Rosler,85, a widthose.
ower, who had been
Members of the
one ages and how to
going to the center
crafts group make
for 3 years prior to
combat these.
lap blankets and
her arriving.
donate them to
They soon became fast friends and
local nursing homes and go one
monthly field trips. In December, the now share a duplex. Ed was legally
center paid for the group to go to the blind when they met, but
salad, multi-grain bread and winter
"I know it's nutritious," she said.
Everyone attending receives a written nutritional analysis of each meal.
On the same page is an explanation
of the things that can derail healthy
eating as one ages and how to combat these.
One of the center’s goals is to keep
people active, engaged and moving.
There are bingo games, bi-lingual
senior computer classes, chair exercise and balance classes. Lucas attended classes in Spanish, computer
and sewing.
knew the streets so well, he does
most of the navigating when Myrna
drives.“I’m her eyes and she’s my
chauffeur,” Rosler jokes.
“He’s the only one who can tell me
where to go and I listen to him.” Cape
They are grateful for
the part the center
plays in their lives.
“It’s a big family,” said
Another program located in the building is
29th Street Community Assistance Network. It received part
of the grant that
funded the senior program. CAN provides
transportation, social and home help
to seniors and persons with disabilities. The mission is to help them remain in their homes safely and comfortably for as long as possible. The
support net stretches over other communities as well. Naylor, Roberts,
Alernon Heights and Julia Keen are
included. The services are free.
In the five years of its existence, CAN
recruited and trained over 35 volunteers who provide services to 77 elderly and disabled people according to
Linda Ravenell, Program Coordinator.
For more information:
Donna Trujillo, Center Director
Freedom Recreation Center 11
5000 E 29th St.
“Creating A Family Neighborhood By Helping Each Other”
At the February neighborhood association meeting the Myers Neighborhood
Association members made 35 Valentine cards for shut-ins in the Myers
Neighborhood. Thanks to everyone who brought their fabulous craft skills.
Myers-Ganoung 50th Birthday
Bash—March 12th from 10:00am to
Myers-Ganoung Elementary will be 50 years old and we would like to help
them celebrate by giving the children and teachers stories of what the school
and the neighborhood was like 50 years ago. We have quite a few residents that
have lived in the Myers Neighborhood since the late 1950s and many more that
have been here not quite so long but have wonderful stories to tell about our
neighborhood and what it has been like to grow up in such a wonderful
neighborhood. If you have any old pictures, stories, facts (interesting or not)
about the neighborhood and or Myers-Ganoung Elementary please join us in our
quest for facts of the past. For further information please contact Vickie Mesimer 748-0862.
Strengthing our existing Neighborhood Block Watch and creating one for streets that don’t have one
is and easy way to meet neighbors and help keep our neighborhood a friendly and safe place to live. If
you would like more information about a neighborhood block watch or are interested in joining/starting
We need phone tree volunteers, people to put signs out on meeting days, and people
to gather feedback on what “special interest” classes residents would be interested in
the future. If you would like to volunteer please call Vickie Mesimer 748-0862.
Need Help? 29th Street C.A.N. volunteers help seniors aged 60+ and handicapped
adults who live in our 5 Weed &Seed neighborhoods to remain in their homes. Call
Linda Ravenell Program Coordinator 406-6959.
Join us for a free Write-a-Will workshop in March
Presented by Our Family Services, Inc.
Learn why having a will or updating the one you have can help ensure support for loved ones and
causes that are important to you. Expert estate planning professionals will provide valuable advice, tips
and a complimentary workbook. Refreshments will be served.
March 15: 4-5:30 p.m. at St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church, East Gallery, 4400 N. Campbell Rd.
March 16: 10-11:30 a.m. at Child & Family Resources, 2800 E. Broadway.
Seating is limited, so contact Development Director Lana Baldwin at (520) 323-1708 x 124 to reserve
your spot.i
(Good Deeds...cont. from pg 7)
through the hole in to the delivery
room, attaching the other end to a gallon drum, in which he boiled water on a
kerosene pressure stove. It worked
Marianne served for eight years there
and left for the states some time after
Conner’s five- year contract was finished. They lost touch.
Conner's first marriage ended after his
last child graduated from high school.
Marianne's physician eventually found
and contacted Conner and asked him
to consult on some neurologic problems Marianne, now working in Florida,
was having. Her doctor suspected the
illness was rooted in her years spent in
New Guinea. Conner agreed to go. As
it turned out, it was simply a reaction to
some medication and the problem was
quickly solved.
The renewed contact led to the realization that they made a pretty good team
and they were later married.
"Marianne had such a calming influence on me. I always had my fighting
Irish temper. She would always say,
'Now calm down here a minute.' She
could always cut right through to the
heart of the problem. She was wonderful," Conner said.
They adopted a daughter who they
named, Nabaya, which meant in tribal
language, “our hope and ours forever.”
They eventually moved from a clinic
in West Virginia to Kearney, Arizona
and then to Myers neighborhood in
Tucson. Conner bought a medical
practice from a retiring physician off
River Road and ran it. When Medicare reimbursement made operations .
more complex, Marianne joined the
office to help out.
Looking back to when Christmas in
April began, Doc Conner saw it as a
way to meet the neighbors. He and
Marianne had taken little time to socialize while running the busy medical
"We didn't know any of our neighbors,
so I told Marianne we should get involved," said Conner.
They helped knock on doors, passed
out surveys, cleaned up properties
and became regular attendees at the
neighborhood association meetings.
"We got the neighborhood cleaned
up," Conner said. He is proud of the
certificate from the association thanking him for eleven years of service.
Then came their turn. Marianne, 67
and he at 77 were not up to the task
of repainting the interior of their home
and that motivated their neighbors to
"Marianne was starting to go blind,"
said Anita Hess, neighbor and volunteer.
Marianne died in March 1, 2001 of a
wasting neuromuscular disease . The
Arizona Star's Bonnie Henry was inspired to write a column about her
entitled, "Life of service deserves
more than two-line death notice."
Together, the Conners enriched the
lives of many here as they had done
in a distant and much more primitive
"Since then, the neighborhood has
been taking care of me," said Conner.
"Cast your bread on the waters..."
Christmas in April. The fresh coat of
paint remains and neighbors still
can help with the bills.
(cont. from pg. 20)
into your mouth, it produces an acid
which demineralizes the teeth, Perry
said. "The children miss the benefit of
eating natural fruit and fill up on fruit
juices rather than nutritional foods."
She recommends parents allow no
more than four to six ounces of juice
per day to be served with a snack and
never just before bed.
Peer finds the outreach meaningful.
"A lot of kids are uninsured. When you
ask 'When did you last see dentist?
They often say 'Five years ago.' It puts
things in perspective on need. It makes
you really value going to these events,"
she said.
"I try to make sure we have everything
we need to provide quality care for clients."
Until the beginning of February, 2011,
when the grant ends, YES Network
To learn more:
Milini Simms
YES Network(520) 297-0702
633 N. 2nd Ave.
Tucson, AZ 22ucson
Jim and Vicki Click Boys and Girls
Roberts Elementary School Campus
1935 S. Columbus Blvd.
Tucson, AZ
(520) 300-5715
(cont. page 23)
Cafécito Guide
The purpose of a cafécito (house meeting) is to bring neighbors together. Cafécitos provide a comfortable environment where people can get to know each other and talk about their neighborhood.
The host’s job is to choose a place, invite at least 10 different households, plan the agenda, and
guide the discussion. At the end of the cafécito, the group can decide together what to do next, if
Decide on a date and time that’s likely to work for your neighbors.
Choose a convenient, neutral place. Home is ideal, but if that’s not a possibility you can host a
cafécito in a local meeting space such as a church, community center, or park. Keep in mind
that transportation may be a problem for some.
Create an invitation. (You can get some ideas on the attached page or on our Web site.)
Invite at least 10 neighbors. Person to person is the best way to get the word out, so hand deliver the invitations if you can. Give your guests a reminder call a couple of days before the
Serve refreshments. Food is a great community building tool. It creates a more festive atmosphere and gives people something to do and to talk about. They’ll want to meet again if the
experience is fun. You can keep it simple — cookies or fruit, coffee, and water would be
enough— or you can make it a pot luck. We’re all more likely to turn up when we have
agreed to bring something (even napkins). A potluck is also a simple way to address different
dietary requirements.
Create an agenda and get others involved. Ask someone to be a greeter or take notes/photos.
Greet neighbors as they arrive. Make sure you introduce newcomers. Ask guests to sign in so
you’ll have contact information for the future, but don’t insist if some are hesitant.
Thank the host / hostess and thank the guests for coming. Ask them to introduce themselves
and say where they live or how long they have been in the neighborhood. Or you can facilitate a short ice breaker to put people at ease. Check our Web site or ask PRO staff for suggestions.
Initiate an informal conversation. (What do you like best about this neighborhood? Have you
seen things in other places you’d like to see here?) Focusing on positive questions will keep
the conversation from degenerating into a complaint session. Make sure everybody gets a
chance to talk.
To wrap up the conversation, restate the main points and ask the group what the next steps
might be. If they want to meet again, set a date and see if someone else wants to host14next
Q. How does a cafécito differ from a meeting of a neighborhood association or HOA?
A. Well, cafécitos are meant to be fun. Seriously. Neighborhood associations and home owners’ associations
are organizations with obligations and agendas. They meet to do business, and discussions frequently center
on problems. Cafécitos are essentially informal social events designed to let neighbors get to know each
other. It’s not uncommon for a more organized group, such as a neighborhood watch, to grow out of an idea
shared by several guests at a cafécito.
Q. When is the best time to schedule a cafécito?
A. A convenient time depends on your particular neighbors. If many families have young children, meetings
after work can interfere with dinnertime, and that can be a challenge unless dinner will be served at the meeting. If the kids are older and into organized sports, weekend meetings might conflict with scheduled games or
practice time. The best way to figure out what works is to ask – just check in with neighbors as you see them
in their yards or driveways or the local hardware store.
Q. What if I can’t hold the cafécito at my house?
A. The important criteria for the place are comfort and convenience, at your house or someone else’s or in a
public place. We all like to be welcomed into someone’s home, but if that’s not possible look for a space that
is not too large for the group and offers reasonably comfortable seating. Be sure to find out if you’re allowed to
serve food or play music or if there are electrical outlets for projectors or computers or other equipment you
may want to use. If the site you choose is far from where some neighbors live, see if nearby public transportation runs as late as your meeting will last. Encourage car pooling.
Q. How much does it cost to host a cafécito?
A. It doesn’t have to cost you a cent. PRO Neighborhoods will contribute $50 toward refreshments or
other expenses so that your neighbors can gather, get to know each other, and talk about their vision for
the community.
Q. Is it OK to bring the kids to the cafécito?
A. Absolutely. Youth have a lot to contribute to a thriving neighborhood. But if you invite them, be sure they
get a chance to participate. If some families have young children, see if you can find someone who would be
willing to provide child care at the cafécito so those families can attend without distraction. A different person
might assist at the next meeting. Don’t forget to show them a lot of appreciation.
Q. How can PRO help?
A. We’ll attend if you invite us, and even help you facilitate if you like. We can show you an assortment of ice
breakers and a few different ways to capture the main points of discussion. We would like to spend a few minutes telling your group about PRO. Of course we’ll be happy to be a resource for you without being present as
well, with our printed Guide, our Website, and conversations with you.
Q. What’s the next step after the cafécito?
A. Next steps are up to you and the group. Many groups decide to keep meeting on a regular basis. Groups
who feel they are ready to jump right into a community-building project can apply to PRO Neighborhoods
for a small grant (anything between $50 and $5,000). Some request professional assistance through a
Planning & Design Service Award, which results in a concept plan, cost estimates, evidence of community
engagement, and other elements to support proposals for major funding sources. Whatever your group
decides to do, PRO Neighborhoods would like to help. Stay in touch about theways we can be your partner.
just be discreet—they
don’t generally give out
permits for
things like
that. Visit
your city’s
website for
details on
how to temporarily
close off a
street, and
be sure to
notify residents in advance.
Ever walked by a street you don’t live
on to find an amazing block party in full
swing? Us too. Since nothing generates neighborhood envy like cases of
beer, barbecue, and blaring musinc,
we asked Jon Lawerence, who puts on
an annual block party for up to 300
people in Bloomington, Indiana to
show us how to plan our own.
Start planning at least three months
before the party so you have time to
get everything in order.
If it’s going to be big, you’ll probably
need to obtain permits, and if you want
the aforementioned cases of beer on
the premises,
The most important part is making sure
people come. You can leave invitations
in mailboxes, but it may be more effective and less wasteful to knock on
doors and tell your neighbors in person.
Check to see whether city of neighborhood groups have funds available
(Lawrence funds his party with help
from a city government grant). You can
also ask for donations from residents,
or try persuading local businesses to
donate prizes for a raffle.
Having a potluck keeps costs down, or
you can provide basics and ask guests
to bring their own food to
grill. You can also ask local businesses to donate some tyope of
comestible. “One of our memebers
applied for and received a neighborhood grant of ice cream for one
hundred people from Edy’s this
year,” says Lawrence. “That was a
big hit.”
Think music (live band or iPod),
games for kids, and icebreakers for
the adults. Whatever you decide on
be sure it encourages people to socialize.
Lawrence relies on volunteer labor
for everything from delivery of invitations to setup to grill duties to final
cleanup. “It gives a sense of ownership when people are involved,” he
Collect email addresses so that you
can thank your volunteers and any
businesses or sponsors who helped
out. And make sure to clean up.
Post photos on Flickr or your sommunity association’s website. And
let your guests know they are there.
Reprinted from GOOD—The
Neighborhood Issue Spring 2010—
Good Guide by Katherine Sharpe and
Siobhan O’Connor under their
Creative Commons copyright license.
Just because delivering a Jell-OMold to welcome a newcomer to
the block is creepy doesn’t mean
you’re destined to live a lonely,
anonymous life in your neighborhood. Kit Hodge is the founder of
Neighbors Project, a group dedicated to inspring people to enjoy
and improve their neighborhoods.
Meeting the neighbors takes a little
effort, she says, but there’s no need
to resort to wobbly deserts.
Hodge calls saying hello “a lost art
that needs to be brought back.”
Try this: Walk around your
neighborhood and actually look at
people, not down at the sidewalk
or at your iPhone. As you pass
someone, make eye contact and
smile, nod or say “Hi.” Afterward,
continue walking, and don’t look
back. Repeat.
Hang our on your porch, balcony,
or stoop. Put a conversation piece
in front of your house: chain your
bike there, or plant flowers. If you
have a fence, consider taking it
down, and if your’re really brave,
install a bench in front of your
Return your neighbors’ mail if it’s
delivered to you by mistake
(including a nice note wouldn’t
hurt). Help strangers who need
assistance with large packages, or
carrying strollers up and down
stairs. Open doors for others.
Volunteer locally, join your neighborhood or block association, organize a
clean-up day for a litter-strewn area,
or even run for local political office. It’s
the gold-star option.
Ride your bike in the neighborhood, or take an evening stroll
around the block. Patronize local
businesses, and if there’s a
nearby coffee shop with a bulletin
board, use it—not to make friends,
but to find resources nearby for
things you need (and meet people
while you’re at it).
Reprinted from GOOD—The
Neighborhood Issue Spring 2010—
Good Guide by Katherine Sharpe and
Siobhan O’Connor under their
Creative Commons copyright license.
Live Theatre Crime Reduction and Prevention The first phase of the Myers neighborhood 2010 grant
from Connecting Communities Foundation finished with
a heart-felt rendition of The Lion King at Myers-Ganoung
Elementary School. Two hundred students and parents
were in attendance.
Julie McIntyre, principal, sees programs like this as more
than just a fun after-school activity. To her, they are essential cornerstones to a child’s education.
Two years ago, Tucson Unified School District identified the school as underperforming"
based on No Child Left Behind standards.
Students’ grade levels showed inadequate
improvement for four consecutive years.
TUSD hired McIntyre in 2009 to turn the
school around. She has three to five years to
do it or face restructuring by the state. She is
in her second year.
McIntyre lives with a book containing each
student's grades. She knows each child by
name. She employs modern teaching tools in
the classrooms and up-to-date training for the
She is excited about the progress the K-5
students are making towards the academic
goals. The 5th graders are over the target,
the fourth grade, eight points away and the
third grade is already meeting the standard
on essential areas.
But the question lingers. When the students
catch up with the other TUSD schools, will they then be
on the road to successfully meeting the challenges of the
future? Some leaders in the field are saying no. McIntyre
heard a speech given by Tony Wagner, a widely recognized expert on education. His perspective resonated
with her own experience and common sense.
“Top scores don't save the day anymore,” Wagner said,
in his book,” The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even
Our Best Schools Don't Teach The New Survival Skills
Our Children Need--and What We Can Do About It.”
The book summarizes the problem.
“Despite the best efforts of educators, our nation's
schools are dangerously obsolete. Instead of teaching
students to be critical thinkers and problem-solvers, we
are asking them to memorize facts for multiple choice
tests. . .Our teens leave school equipped to work only in
the kinds of jobs that are fast disappearing from the
American economy. Meanwhile, young adults in India
and China are competing with our students for the most
sought-after careers around the world."
Wagner points out that learning environments that
focus only on test preparation and reward memorizing
By Anne Dalton answers will not teach students the skills employers are
looking for in young people today.
They must also be able to think critically about facts and
theory, exercise creativity, and be effective communicators.
This perspective resonated with McIntyre.
"I'm a music mom," she said." Both of my kids are musi-
cians and very successful in their careers. I believe it's because they grew up with an instrument in their hands. They
learned that right brain-left brain connection."
Creative after-school programs are one of her strategies for
filling the gap between simply meeting standards and preparing for the future. Here, students have the opportunity to
learn skills not found in textbooks. Some district schools
enroll students in the Opening Minds Through The Arts program to fill the void.
"OMA is a student achievement program that uses the arts
to teach children in K-12 classrooms math, science, reading, writing, social studies, and the full range of 21st century
skills," its Web site states.
The program has an excellent reputation, but MyersGanoung could not afford the fee. That realization made the
CCF grant all the more important to McIntyre. She sees the
ten-week programs as a means to boost self-expression,
confidence, teamwork and creativity in her students.
Those meeting and exceeding standards were chosen to
participate in the first 10-week session of Creative Expressions. Michael Martinez of Live Theatre Workshop and vol18 the
unteers from Single Parents Are Not Alone coached
group in dramatic arts. YES Network coordinated the efforts
with the school and neighborhood.
McIntyre shared her strategy on this first segment.
"I wanted to get the other kids' attention," McIntyre said.
Those participating became role models
for the other students and made others
want to sign on.
Of course, parent involvement was critical. Martinez was impressed with the
school and the parents' involvement.
“It’s an outstanding school. I attribute it
to the principal's support. She really got
involved. She really cared about the program. She knew the goals and was on
board. The thing I loved the most that
these kids and families were really into
it. They came to rehearsals, volunteered
time, brought treats for the kids, he said.
"The kids were really respectful and so
inquisitive about their characters. It was
constant and non-stop for them. They
were really thinking about other people
and characters different from themselves,” he said.
As social skills go, thinking about other
people and putting themselves in others'
shoes is a critical interpersonal skill.
The positive and safe environment the
school offers is no accident. Only one fight incident was
reported to McIntyre out of the whole semester. McIntyre
attributes the success to the Golden Ticket program in
which students receive a ticket and a call to parents each
time they are recognized for being kind to other students.
Golden tickets line the hallways recognizing their efforts.
"It seemed the more you said 'no bullying,' the more it
seemed to happen. So we don't use that word anymore.
We just say ‘we're a kind kids’ school,'" she said.
Martinez recalls one student's efforts to overcome his
own limitations to be part of the production.
“One student didn't speak English very well, and I
didn't know it. He just did it. One of the loudest kids,
he memorized lines early on. Before that, he was a
generally quiet kid. The character allowed him to step
away from being shy
"The kids were really
or embarrassed. His
mother was very
respectful and so inexcited,” he said.
quisitive about their
Miyoka Broussard,
characters. It was con- director of SPANA,
the program
stant and non-stop for said
was very successful.
them. They were really She recalls a particular student who
thinking about other
learned adaptability
people and characters first hand. The child
had a stuttering problem
different from thembut applied himself so inselves,”
tently to the role, Martinez
and Broussard had no idea
he was challenged in this way.
“ We always see the children develop even though it's only
10 weeks. It builds confidence when kids memorize lines,
perform and dance. Even the ones who say ‘I can't do it!’
succeed. It's always so rewarding for us,” she said.
McIntyre hopes to stretch these opportunities to cover the
entire school year.
"I can't be happier about it,” she said. "It
made other kids aware of the program
and provided those in it with cross-grade
level experience.”
The second 12-week program, conducted by Compass Behavioral Health,
is another way for students to develop
their own voice and communicate with
others. C.A.S.T. is part of Compass, a
behavioral health service provider in
Tucson. The original program was developed for 13 to 23 year old high school
students whose lives were affected by
addictions, whether their own or someone else’s.
Students went through eight to ten
weeks of training doing theatre games to
build confidence. They talked about their
stories and then wrote a composite
script for a group performance. The
Myers-Ganoung school project will be
the program's first effort working with
students in a younger age group.
Susan Arnold, program director, states
they will get a pared-down version of the high school experience.
"There will be more one-on-one there. The focus will be on
building their voices and self-expression, confidence and
team work," Arnold said.
McIntyre hopes to provide students four complete sessions
in all. Arnold, who majored in film production while at the
University of Arizona, will guide students in doing “I” videos
to document their learning experiences at the end of the
year. This will culminate in a film festival.
On March 12, the school will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
While appreciating the past, it looks to a brighter future.
YES Network Health Clinic Services Varnishing is good for fine furniture
and floors. Apparently, it works well
on teeth too. Twenty-three lucky
members of the Boys & Girls Club at
the corner of Columbus Blvd. and
36th Street got their teeth screened
and varnished for free on November
12. YES Network acquired a grant
this year from Delta Dental of Arizona. It partnered with the BGC and
El Rio Community Health Center to
provide a morning dental clinic.
According to Grace Piers, El Rio's
community outreach person, each
child received a limited exam and a
fluoride varnish session. Nutritional
information and instruction on how to
take care of their teeth and gums
including pictures of cavities and gum
infections were also provided.
"We had pediatric dentist residents
staff go. They love doing outreach
events," Peers said.
Corey Cravens, BGC Director organized the gathering of consent forms
from parents.
"The kids love it when El Rio brings
in a big tooth brush, big set of teeth
and sings the alphabet song while
brushing the teeth. They get free
toothpaste and floss and five to ten
minutes of valuable information. It's
not me or the staff telling them what
to do,so they listen."
The varnish treatment is not available
in most dental offices due to its expense. El Rio is able to provide it with
support from grants. The treatments
are worth $204 each. The varnish is
a sticky paste with a fruit or bubblegum flavor. It adheres to the tooth
quickly and prevents cavities and
sensitivities for up to three months.
After an exam is completed, parents
are contacted and informed of their
child's oral health. They are also
asked if the child and family have a
dental home established. If not, they
can be scheduled at an El Rio clinic.
If they lack insurance, they can go to
El Rio and pay for services on a sliding fee scale. Here, patients can re-
ceive up to a 50 percent discount on
They can also apply for AHCCCS, Arizona's Medicaid program, although this
is a more complex process and can
take a few weeks to complete.
"The parents say thank you. Sometimes
this is the only connection they can
make with a professional to see how
their kids' teeth are growing," Craven
Margaret Perry, oral health program
coordinator for the Pima County Health
Department, works with El Rio, one of
its partners in the First Things First project. The FTF project is funded by the
South Pima Regional Partnership
Council which receives the funds from
the state tobacco tax. This project's
objective is to provide 2,800 children up
to age five with two fluoride treatments
in one year.
Perry offers training for El Rio's dental
staff to show them how to perform limited evaluations and screen and varnish. Her efforts also insure consistency
in standards when measuring oral
health throughout the community.
Perry sees the greatest challenge to
offering services like this as getting the
By Anne Dalton consent forms returned. Sometimes
10 percent are returned, sometimes
50 percent, but never 100 percent.
“I have to believe it has to do with lack
of understanding on importance and
value,” Perry said. "With toothaches,
children can't learn, eat or sleep."
“The children in this region (most of
south Pima from Vail to Ajo) are at
high risk for
dental decay
because of
lack of water
fluoridation due
to the variety of
wells and water sources,"
she said.
was voted in
by Pima
County voters
around 20
years ago, it
was never
This puts all of
Tucson at risk.
Other risk factors are low
incomes, especially among Hispanic
and Native Americans or any nonCaucasians due to differences in
health education, resources and simply knowing
"The kids love it
how to access services when El Rio brings in
a big tooth brush, big
in the system."
set of teeth and sings
One common
the alphabet song
problem she
while brushing the
sees is the
They get free
frequent use
of juice boxes toothpaste and floss
which tend to
and five to ten minbe high in
utes of valuable insugar conformation. It's not
or the staff tell"Every time
20 to do,
you put a car- ing them what
so they listen."
Cont. on pg. 13
L.I.F.T Educational Success Each year, almost one third of all public high school
students fail to graduate from public high school with
their class. Learning Incentives for Teens (L.I.F.T.) is
a drop out prevention program housed under YES
Network. The program provides displaced students a
monthly stipend that is predicated on their class attendance and grades.
pport you for
Comm ant to tha hree
Staff D. and I w the past t both my
Dear me is Jorg ave given m is assistanc t making
My n pport you h eceiving th ressed abo
the su . Before xtremely s my grands
month d I were ted to help ve much
nana eet. I wa doesn’t h to take
ends m beause sh ficing a lot y food,
mothe and is sacr e helped b need clothv
money me. I ha some much as made it
care ls and buy r program ork and
pay b eing in yo my school n continue
ing. to focus on e that I c the future
easier e confiden raduate in
given cation and
my ed you again,
Thank D.
Monica C.
Monica C.
Beginning with only 5 students the
program has now grown to assist 26
students from 10 different schools
throughout Tucson. Since its creation
8 students have successfully gone
on to accomplish higher goals.
If you would like to help support the L.I.F.T program or have addi‐
tional questions please call YES Network 297‐0702. Requirements for Joining the L.I.F.T Program •
Complete an application available from the school counselors office. Provide resonable expectation date of graduation. Stay in school or return to school. Students cannot be eligible for other services/programs 21
Leadership Training Institute
Class Schedule
YES Network’s Leadership Training Institute’s mission is to train, place, support and collaborate with nonprofits to empower youth, families, and neighborhoods in Tucson and Pima County. Community Engagement Leadership Skills, Technical Skills, and Community Skills. The Leadership Training Institute aims to provide nonprofits
and neighborhood residents with the skills needed to address issues in the community and empower residents.
Please contact Milini Simms at 520-297-0702 to register.
Grass Roots Leadership:Skills for Community Volunteer Leaders
This workshop will provide leaders (especially those who applied) with core skills needed to mobilize, facilitate, engage, and
make decisions for their community.
Date: TBA
Getting the Word Out
This workshop will help neighborhoods (especially the one who won) promote and get information out about their community.
Date: TBA
Instructor: Andre Newman
Program Evaluation
This workshop will provide leaders (especially those who applied) with core skills needed to mobilize, facilitate, engage, and
make decisions for their community.
Date: TBA
Neighboring: Engaging Under-Resourced Communities in Service
This workshop will teach neighborhoods about parameters and expectations of successful partnerships, how to manage conflict
and engage the community in successful initiatives prior to the programs in the grant starting
Date: TBA
School Dances/Events
Stage Sound
Corporate Events
Equipment Rental/Party Supplies
Event Planning
Audio Visual
Advertise with us!
Business Card
Quarter Page
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Full Page
$25.00 add $25.00 for color
$35.00 add $25.00 for color
$50.00 add $25.00 for color
Reach the people in your
neighborhood with your
Please call Teresa Westhoff regarding inquires
for advertising at 297-0702.
Affordable advertising targeted at
your neighbors. Call me today!
Ask for Teresa
cont. page 13
FCA of Southern Arizona
633 N. 2nd Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85705
The FCA Vision
To see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes
and coaches.
The FCA Mission
To present to athletes and coaches and all whom they influence the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving
Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church
The FCA Values
Our relationships will demonstrate steadfast commitment to Jesus Christ
and His Word through Integrity, Serving, Teamwork and Excellence.
El Rio Southwest Dental
1530 W. Commerce Court
Tucson, AZ 85746
Appointments: 520-670-3758
Pima County Health Department
Oral Health Program
Tucson, AZ
First Things First Program
633 N. 2nd Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705