Bradenton/Sarasota (FL) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

Program Facets

Our chapter has trailblazed innovative programs that have touched all members of our community and the world through our five facets. 

The Arts Facet encourages appreciation of and support for cultural enrichment and the arts.  We continue to provide service to the children who attend the Tallevast Community Center, Tallevast, Florida.  Activities include singing, poetry, jewelry making, drawing, and painting.  This year the children studied the history of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Company and even attended their concert performance at the Van Wezel Theater.  In December, they presented a Christmas program which highlighted songs and poetry.  The children learned about preventing childhood obesity, created posters that showed healthy eating and physical activities, and also enjoyed an afternoon of eating healthy snacks.

The Health and Human Services Facet
(HHS) coordinated the chapter’s two year National Childhood Obesity Prevention (COP) Program Initiative.  This umbrella program was implemented in collaboration with the afterschool program at Emma E. Booker Elementary School and other community partners.  The program encourages minority students to maintain a healthier lifestyle which included healthy eating, portion control, and regular exercise. Over sixty students, ranging from ages 7 to 11, participated in the program.  The six-week curriculum entitled “Can You Imagine Me?” was designed by the Morehouse School of Medicine in collaboration with the Links, Incorporated and  sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and General Mills, Inc.  Our chapter’s 2012 program was underwritten by a monetary grant from the Florida Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Tampa.  At the conclusion of the program, parents, guardians, family members and friends enjoyed the students’ demonstration of program activities and eating a healthy meal at a Healthier Family celebration. HHS, in collaboration with a local coalition of community partners, plans to expand the childhood obesity prevention program to other after school programs in Sarasota and Manatee county school districts.

In addition, HHS sponsored a table for ten in partnership with the Susan G Komen’s Luncheon for the Cure held in downtown Sarasota.  At the luncheon, the Chapter also celebrated the American Heart Association’s ‘Go Red’ during the month of February.  In partnership with the American Cancer Society, HHS established a local ‘Relay For Life’ team that raised more than $2,300.00.

The International Trends and Services facet's mission is to expand the global platform for programs designed and developed to service the educational, health, and cultural needs of people of African descent throughout the world. All programmatic components of the facet are delivered through measurable and sustainable service delivery methods that reach women and their families.

2011-2012 Program Collaborations/Partners/Initiatives:

Education Across the Miles (EAM) in Haiti - Through a formal collaboration with Hope Outreach International, our chapter provided scholarships in the amount of $4,680 to send 13 needy children to school in Lamothe Haiti. Funds cover the cost for tuition, uniforms, shoes, and books for one year. Many of the children were orphaned by the 2010 earthquake and have never attended school.
Humanity Working to End Genocide - Help plan and implement programs to raise awareness about Genocide/Global Atrocities.
US Committee of UN Women's 'Learners to Leaders' - Prepare young women to become leaders and advocates for gender equality worldwide!
Emma Booker Elementary School: 'Obesity Prevention' Obesity Prevention - Raise awareness about benefits of Physical Activities, i.e., Yoga, sports, etc.
Tillman Elementary School - 'Greetings to Heroes' - Help students create and send Christmas Greeting Cards to injured soldiers.

National Trends focuses on issues that affect the quality of life of African Americans.  Our goal is to implement innovative programs and services that will make a positive impact on our communities and serve as a catalyst for change.  Recent activities include:

We continue to work with Habitat for Humanity to assist African American families that are living without decent affordable houses to become home owners.  We have been successful in getting one family approved for a new home and another family is pending approval.
With our Anti Bullying Initiate, we are bringing awareness to the crisis of bullying in schools in particular Booker Middle School.  Students have learned that bullying hurts others who are weaker or less confident and that they should not be bystanders when someone is being bullied.  They should immediately report any incident to an adult or responsible person.
We are implementing a community wide Voter Registration Drive.  We will be encouraging people to get registered to vote in the 2012 election.
We will continue to work with the umbrella project of Childhood Obesity as directed by the Health and Human Services Facet Chair.

Services to Youth had a busy year including participation in the "Can You Imagine Me?" childhood obesity prevention project at Emma E. Booker Elementary School and in planning and implementing mentoring activities with the Booker Middle School DIVAS.  In addition, the Facet chair participated on the Anti-Bullying Forum sponsored by National Trends at Booker Middle School, and Facet members continued their attendance at programs and activities sponsored by other facets.

Of recent note, Services to Youth concluded a successful year with the DIVAS by co-hosting a celebration dinner. Certificates, trophies, and other acknowledgements were presented to DIVAS for accomplishments during the school year.  Forty DIVAS, their family members, school staff, and Links attended this evening of celebration. Links Brown, Major-Harper and Ray were pleasantly surprised when each was presented with a Certificate of Excellence from the school for their mentoring activities with the DIVAS.  Plans are already underway for Facet activities with the DIVAS during the 2012-2013 school year.