Weekly Update: A summer of investing in our youth


Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Bookmark and Share


For most families across this city, including my own, school starts back next week.

It seems like a great time to share all that your City of Memphis government has done to provide productive opportunities for our young people this summer. Here are some highlights:

  • Our community centers served 2,164 young people in summer camps. I’m particularly proud that 90 minutes per day were dedicated to literacy activities, part of our work to enhance the education of our young people and reduce the “summer slide.”
  • In our libraries, some 22,000 customers (not all young people, to be sure) attended 1,000 programs across our 18 locations. Program attendance at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library is up 22 percent -- and program attendance for our libraries in the southwestern portion of the city increased by 61 percent! Plus, you've probably have heard by now that we noticeably expanded hours in our libraries.
  • We increased our summer jobs program participants from 1,000 to 1,250. And thanks to our Just One Youth call to action, we added another 58 to the summer employment rolls.
  • Our pools, which were open from Memorial Day through July 30, were visited 45,770 times.

That’s hardly all of what we did, but it’s a good enough sampling to give you an idea of our reach.

Under our administration, we’ve worked to expand this programming -- a reinvestment in our future, a reinvestment in our neighborhoods, and a reinvestment in our citizens.

We have much more work to do, but I hope you can see the early results.

Oh, and we’re not finished. Our community centers are launching after-school camps next month, and we’ll share more about that closer to time.

It all starts in Memphis: Did you know that Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, was born right here in Memphis? Sure was. And we were proud to place a historical marker this week at the very house in which she was born, because we want the world to know that Aretha Franklin is a Memphian!

Work Local expansion: Remember the Work Local program, which is helping homeless Memphians by providing work two days a week cleaning up blight and connections to social services? I’m proud to tell you that it’s expanding to a third day per week this month!

We’re proud to partner with the Hospitality HUB to help fund this program -- and we were also glad to donate a van to the cause. Councilwoman Janis Fullilove was also instrumental in making this happen.

Congratulations, Krystiyan!: Our Memphis Youth Got Talent competition ended last week at the Cannon Center, and I was proud to be there to see all of the talent that our young people have to offer. Congratulations to Krystiyan Taylor, a sophomore at Ridgeway High, whose dance performance won the $1,000 grand prize! Charity Johnson, a junior at Overton, and Kailyn Williams of Craigmont won second and third place, respectively.

No better time than now: For the entire month of August, Memphis Animal Services will let you adopt a dog or cat for just $20. It’s a big-time bargain when you consider this: All adoptions include spay/neuter, vaccines, microchip, a heartworm test for dogs, FIV/FeLV test for cats, a collar, a leash for dogs and a customized ID tag.

Visit memphisanimalservices.com for adoptable pets and adoption hours.

It truly is a new day at MAS, and I’m so proud of the progress that Alexis Pugh and her truly dedicated staff members are making.

Award-winning stewards: I’ve bragged before about how our Division of Finance is constantly receiving national accolades; it’s a true testament to how seriously our Finance employees take their role as stewards of your dollars. Here’s another one: our procurement department recently earned its fifth straight Achievement of Excellence in Procurement honor from the National Procurement Institute. Congratulations, Eric Mayse and staff!

Saying hi on National Night Out: It was great to see many of you on our stops throughout the city on National Night Out this week. I’ll leave you with a few scenes from Pastor Charlie Caswell’s Union Grove Baptist Church in Frayser:

National Night Out

Mayor's signature