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Update on the Video Contest

The voting on the All-America Stories Video contest has been heavy. Torrance is still in the lead with 971 “likes.” Then comes Fayetteville, neck and neck with 886 likes. In third is Dedham with 310.

We will close the voting on Friday at noon. So keep getting your people to go to our Facebook page and click on the video icon. (Circled in this image).

Click on the video of your choice and click “like” beneath the video.

Offsetting Emissions

We got this e-mail from Virginia in the Dedham delegation:

“I thought you might also find this news worthy. The Town of Dedham is offsetting our carbon emissions for the trip out to Kansas City, both the flight, the van trip being conducted by the Youth Commission and our shipping of items out have all been offset. Attached is a certificate that we will display at our table during the cultural fair.”

Great idea.

Ann Arbor’s All-America Stories Video

Ann Arbor had submitted a video for the contest on time. Unfortunately, it got lost in the e-mail.  Ann Arbor fans should make up for lost time by clicking the “like” beneath the video after viewing it on our AAC Facebook video page.

AAC Grade Level Reading Award

The National Civic League is committed to addressing one of the country’s most persistent challenges–the gap in reading achievement that separates many low income students from their peers.

In 2012, NCL will focus the All-America City Awards on communities that develop strategies in the three areas that have the most potential to drive improvements in grade level reading: 1) school readiness, 2) attendance and 3) summer learning.

Educators and researchers have long recognized the importance of mastering reading by the end of third grade, yet two thirds of U.S. schoolchildren are not reaching that critical benchmark.

NCL’s efforts on this important issue are part the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, a partnership between funders, business leaders and community groups that seeks to increase the number of low income children who read at grade level by third grade.

We are asking communities to sign a letter of an intent, demonstrating their willingness to participate in the 2012 All-America City Grade Level Reading Award program.

For an invitation to apply for the 2012 award, click here.

For more information on the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, click here.

All-America Stories Video: Torrance

Torrance made a great video for the All-America Stories contest. Unfortunately, the version on our Facebook page is flawed. It has some skips.

Equally unfortunately, we can’t change the version on the Facebook video page because that would affect the voting in the video contest (long story). We apologize for the problem, which is almost certainly on our end.

But for those who want to see the unblemished You Tube version, here it is:

For those who want to vote for it, here is the Facebook Video page link.

All-America City Projects: Dakota County, Nebraska

We are sad to say that Dakota County won’t be attending the All-America City Awards in Kansas City because of a flooding situation back home.  Our best wishes go out to the people of Dakota County.  But you can read about their terrific community projects here.

Post-Secondary Educational Opportunities and Workforce Training

In Dakota County, only six percent of the population has an associate’s degree and only 13.5 percent of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher. The results of this study painted a very distressing picture for Dakota County and its residents: Although Dakota County was growing economically and demographically, postsecondary educational opportunities and workforce training had failed to keep pace. The rapidly-growing minority, first-generation and place-bound working adult population needed access to higher education, but limited access and availability of affordable post-secondary educational options had created an educational shortfall. In 2005, officials from Dakota County, South Sioux City, Wayne State College and Northeast Community College along with local businesses, and over 130 donors united together to overcome the counties post-secondary educational shortfalls and launched a campaign to build a new College Center that would offer “start-to-finish” degree programs including two-year, four-year, and graduate degrees, as well as customized workforce training programs. On March 14, 2011, the College Center, located in South Sioux City, Nebraska opened its doors to students, faculty and the public.

Roth Industrial Park

The “Roth Industrial Park” located in Dakota County, Nebraska has defied the global economic recession by emerging as one of the fastest growing industrial parks in the nation. After successfully securing the ground, community leaders ensured the site was “shovel-ready” by completing all road, rail, water, fiber, gas and electricity infrastructures. With these networks in place, community/county economic development officials began to aggressively market and promote the Roth Industrial Park. Five short years later, the Park has announced over $700 million in capital investment and the creation of 850 jobs in this agri-business and food processing hub of the Midwest. As the Roth Industrial Park adds businesses and capital investment, community and county leaders are working together to find additional acres to meet the growing demands for land in this rapidly expanding industrial park. As a result of their calculated efforts, this development is helping lead the region’s economic recovery.

The Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA

In 2005, the YMCA that served the region was in significant decline and was struggling to raise funds to build a new facility. Through innovative public/private, business and not-for-profit partnerships across multi-jurisdictional boundaries, a state-of-the-art $11 million facility was built and, in January 2008, The Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA opened its doors to the public. A school district that faced the closure of the pool used for all of its aquatic programs now has use of a top-of-the-line competitive pool and additional fitness resources previously unavailable for its kids. A county striving to provide more recreation and well-being for its residents now partners with the Y for wellness programming for its staff and families, management of a summer outdoor pool for the entire community, and operation of a 72-acre outdoor complex that provides outdoor recreation opportunities for thousands of youth. This youth driven project has resulted in greater health and activity opportunities for the entire community, especially impacting underserved youth through summer camps, day camps, youth fitness programs, youth sports, and facilities and programming specifically designed for youth and families.

Schedule of events for the 2011 All-America City Awards in Kansas City

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm        Registration

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

7:00 am – 7:30 am         Delegation “Captain” Briefing

8:00 am – 3:30 pm        Registration

8:00 am – 3:30 pm        Presentation Rehearsals

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm        All-America City Awards Orientation

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm        Welcome Reception sponsored by The Campaign for Grade Level Reading

6:00 pm – 8:50 pm        Presentation Rehearsals

Thursday, June 16, 2011

7:00 am – 7:30 am         Daily “Captain” Briefing

8:00 am – 5:00 pm        Registration

8:00 am – 5:05 pm        Jury Presentations

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm        AAC Civic Action Fair & Cultural Entertainment Showcase

8:00 pm –9:30 p.m.       Youth Forum

Friday, June 17, 2011

7:00 am – 7:30 am         Daily “Captain” Briefing

8:00 am – 1:00 pm        Registration

8:30 am – 11:10 pm      Jury Presentations

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm        AAC Center for Civic Excellence Innovation Forum on Fiscal Sustainability

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm        AAC and the Campaign for Grade Level Reading Innovation Forum on Community Solutions to Improve 3rd Grade Reading

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm Pre-Awards Reception

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Awards Ceremony

9:00 pm – 11:00 pm Post-Awards Celebration

And They’re Off! Voting begins on the video contest

The All-America Stories video contest if off to a rousing start. We now have seven videos posted on our Facebook video page.

(Late breaking update! We now have a submission from Ann Arbor, so that makes eight.

So far it is a close race between Torrance with 227 votes and Fayetteville with 151 votes. I just heard that Torrance took out an ad in the Daily Breeze asking people vote (like) their video.  That is going to make Torrance a tough contender.

Also in the running are Cottonwood Heights, Fort Worth, Beloit, Buffalo and Dedham.

To look at the videos and to vote, go to our Facebook video page here. Click on the video to watch and then click on the word “Like” displayed below the video. Make sure you are saying you “like” the video and not someone’s comment on the video. It’s a little confusing, but it’s not that hard.

As we’ve noted before. This is something we do for fun. Everybody seems to like video and we try to get our new media/social networking going with the contest. Tell everybody you know to vote for their favorite video.

Dedham’s All-America Stories Video

This video about “green” schools in Dedham, Massachusetts is their entry in the video contest.

Click here and go to our Facebook video page to vote for the video by “liking” it.

All-America Stories: Fayetteville

This video from Fayetteville is the first submission in our All-America Stories video contest. The entry with the most “likes” on our Facebook page will be announced the winner on June 17, the night of the All-America City Awards celebration in Kansas City.

Go to our Facebook page here Click on the video icon on the left side of the page, watch the video and click “like” to vote for it. Please “Like” our page while you are there.

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