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May 5 2013

Volume 2, Issue 11

Special points of interest:

> WRF Visits Jonesboro > Grants Director Talks Outcomes > New Cooking Matters Classes


In a couple of weeks, City Hall and NJNI will have a new address. The move from Washington to Church Street is a welcome change to city employees. The move is scheduled for May 15th and will allow the city to house most offices under one roof rather than scattered throughout the City.

WRF Visits Jonesboro


Meeting Highlights


The new City Hall is located at the corner of Church Street and Huntington, in the old Mercantile Bank Building. The NJNI office will be located on the 4th floor in the Grants Department.

Cooking Matters


Board of Directors


Community Calendar


We hope you will stop by for a visit.

Inside this issue:

NJNI Brings Outcomes 3

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Community Assists in Gardens

North Jonesboro Neighborhood Initiative

Winthr op Rockefeller Repr es entat ives Vis it NJNI Earlier this week, representatives from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) visited the City of Jonesboro to: (1) plan for the WRF June 6-7 board meeting, which will be held in Jonesboro and; (2) visit with the NJNI coordinator for an update on the initiative and to determine ways the foundation may be able to assist the initiative in achieving its mission. Representing WRF were: Takema Bradberry, Senior Program Officer; Andrew Ford, Program Assistant; and

consultants Yates and Robertson.

Garland Lakedra

During a discussion centered around community engagement, WRF representatives and the NJNI coordinator agreed that the initiative could benefit from assistance with building resident engagement. Lakedra Robertson and Garland Yates will be working with us over the next few months as we attempt to move the needle toward more residents becoming engaged in change.

Garland and Lakedra also met with residents at Fisher Street United Methodist Church to hear directly from residents, and to give residents an opportunity to ask questions and engage in dialog about what they believe should happen. I am extremely excited and energized when I think about the future of North Jonesboro and the endless possibilities for change. If NJNI is to be successful, it will take all of us working together. I hope you are ready to go on this journey with us!

Meeting Highlights WRF—A meeting was held

Community Meeting

at Fisher Street United Methodist Church with representatives from the Rockefeller Foundation and the community. The meeting was held to get input from residents on the NJNI and the issue of community engagement.

Community Meeting—A community meeting was held on Thursday, April 25th at the E. Boone Watson Center. Julie Windberry of City Youth Ministries was the featured speaker. Julie updated us on CYM programs and gave us an opportunity to become a part of

the “365” Club. We were glad to see new faces at the meeting and are looking forward to a special presentation later this month—stay tuned!

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North Jonesboro Neighborhood Initiative

Volume 2, Issue 11

North Jonesboro Neighborhood Initiative In 2012, the City of Jonesboro secured a $100,000 grant from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation to implement a North Jonesboro Neighborhood Initiative (NJNI) Strategic Plan. The NJNI is a “place-based change initiative” meant to engage residents in a process of empowerment and positive change for the community. The residents of north Jonesboro accepted the challenge and are driving this process, with the support of the City of Jonesboro. In late 2012, the city received its first ever AmeriCorps grant from the state of Arkansas. These service members are partnered with service delivery sites in the north Jonesboro community in an effort to fill “gaps” in services. Sites include ASU CARE, Jonesboro Police Department- Quality of Life Unit, Habitat for Humanity, City Youth Ministries, and the Jonesboro Schools. Other funding streams include the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance for a grand total of $245,500 to date in financial support from financial partners. Outcomes are tremendous. There are three (3) active and successful neighborhood networks; Over 500 residents attended the first community fair along with over 30 resource partners, including the Jonesboro Police Department; NJNI just graduated its first Cooking Matters class of seven (7) participants; a partnership with ASU Delta Center for Economic Development recently produced five (5) job-ready residents – one of which already has a job; and ten (10) residents will graduate from a financial literacy class this month, facilitated by BancorpSouth. The NJNI is well on its way to long term sustainability with an established Board of Directors, approved bylaws, and long term financial plan. The City of Jonesboro will always support the NJNI, as north Jonesboro is a vital part of the city and its future. -Heather Clements, Director Grants & Community Development City of Jonesboro (Written for City & Town Magazine)

COOKING MATTERS PREPARES FOR NEW CLASSES NJNI and the Craighead County Extension Office are preparing for the next installment of cooking classes. The classes teach low-income residents how to prepare healthy meals on a budget. Next week, two (classes) will begin. A class will be held on Tuesday, Mary 7th at 5:30 p.m., and a second class will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 9th. Both classes will be held at the Extension Office and will meet for six (6) consecutive weeks. (The 5:30 class is full). If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the class, please call Emma Agnew at, or call 870-336-7210.

“The NJNI is a place-based change initiative meant to engage residents in a process of empowerment and positive change. . .”

We are currently accepting registrations for upcoming classes.



CASH-Entrepreneur, Vice Chairman

CHARLES COLEMAN-Retired, ASU JEANETTE DOTSON-East AR Area Agency on Aging DAISY FREEMAN-Retired, St. Bernard's, Secretary JANICE GRIFFIN –Craighead County DHS AMY HUTSON-Frito Lay BLAKE JOHNSON-Liberty Bank

City of Jonesboro North Jonesboro Neighborhood Initiative P.O. Box 1845 519 W. Washington Ave. Jonesboro, AR 72401-1845

JANE MCDANIEL–Retired, St. Bernard's M.G. MEYERING-Habitat for Humanity JOHN MIXON–STUCK & ASSOCIATES BEN OWENS, Retired-St. Bernard's, Chairman Melody Robinson, Jonesboro Human Development Center

C ommunity C alendar May 7—Cooking Matters Class(5:30 p.m.) May 9—Cooking Matters Class (10:00 a.m.) May 16—MFBNJ (10:00 a.m.) May 16—NJNI Board Meeting (5:00 p.m.) May 30—Community Meeting (4:00 p.m.) May 31—Disaster Training 9:00 a.m.

Caption describing picture or graphic.

June 6—FSCIA Extravaganza (at the gardens) June 6-7—Winthrop Rockefeller Board Meeting June 8—West End Annual Rummage Sale (MicroSociety)

Emma Agnew, Editor and NJNI Coordinator

September 14—NJNI 5K


October 1—NJNI National Night Out & Community Fair

If you have community events you would like to place on the calendar, please call or email or 870336-7210

North Jonesboro Neighborhood Initiative  

"Spread your change."

North Jonesboro Neighborhood Initiative  

"Spread your change."