Jazz on the Lawn looks to elevate Edison Elementary

The concert is part of a larger effort to better connect the community to the district’s Achievement Schools
Marlon Boone will be among the performers at a jazz fundraiser being held Saturday (Oct. 26) at Edison Elementary School. Times files
Marlon Boone will be among the performers at a jazz fundraiser being held Saturday (Oct. 26) at Edison Elementary School. Times files
Published October 26 2018

TAMPA — Building strong schools requires the involvement of parents, commitment of community leaders, and jazz?

That’s the goal of Saturday’s Jazz on the Lawn fundraiser at Edison Elementary, one of 50 “Achievement Schools” cited by the Hillsborough County Public Schools chief Jeff Eakins as needing improvement.

Hosted by What We Could Be Exchange, the concert at 1607 E Curtis St. will feature performances by Trumane Burrell, Omari Dillard, and Marlon Boone among others.

Proceeds from the event will support after-school programming that engages students in different activities and teaches them leaderships skills, said Jeannette Bradley, the exchange’s executive director.

The after-school program is just one of several initiatives implemented at the school — along with advisory teams and community townhalls — to help boost lagging student performance. It’s part of a larger program introduced by Eakins earlier this year to address the district’s highest-needs schools.

When the Florida Department of Education released school grades this summer, Edison moved up a letter to ‘C’.

But more can be done, and that’s where community partners like What We Could Be Exchange can step in, Bradley said.

“Our goal is to change the culture where Edison is a community school and become an ‘A’ school and change the community around it,” she said. “We decided to focus on Edison’s families and communities and as one becomes successful, we believe the rest will fall in line.”

Contact Kenya Woodard at [email protected]

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