PEPPER PIKE, Ohio – Orange Community Education and Recreation won first and second place in the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association awards when the OPRA announced its annual Excellence Award winners on November 10.
In the Historic and Cultural Artistic Programs and Events category, OCER won first place for its innovative family reading project and community walk, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.
The initiative challenged K-5 children and their families to use books to start meaningful conversations about diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice.
More than 200 students participated in the project. Each child was encouraged to write their own inclusion storybook, which was featured on a garden sign during a community walk in May.
The program was made possible through a grant from the Orange Schools Foundation and a partnership with the Orange branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library and the Orange City Schools.
The OCER was one of 12 agencies to win the first prize out of more than 125 applications.
The department also earned second place in the Adapted Programs and Events category for the Broadway Buddies: Broadway Bound program.
Created during the pandemic and held virtually at times, Broadway Bound offers actors with disabilities the opportunity to focus on music, dance and theater.
Theater professionals and paraprofessionals guide and inspire actors through every step of this popular program.
“We are very honored to receive these awards and to be part of an elite group of parks and recreation services,” OCER Director Jill Korsok said in a press release.
“I think this shows the dedication, creativity and focus of our team on our mission to build and engage our community through the development and delivery of excellent learning, discovery and active leisure experiences for all. . “
The OPRA Awards of Excellence will be presented at a banquet hosted by the association on February 8 at the Kalahari Convention Center in Sandusky.
“Each year, we say these award winners represent the best of Ohio’s best parks and recreation,” OPRA Executive Director Woody Woodward said in the statement. “But this year, these winners are particularly powerful.
“These projects, programs and events were carried out during a pandemic and sought to make an impact on the lives of people as they went through these difficult times.”
Awards are judged by a panel of parks and recreation professionals from across Ohio.
OCER, based in Pepper Pike, serves people living in the Orange City School District and beyond. The department offers hundreds of courses, activities and events for all ages in the fields of art, theater, sports, recreation, health and wellness, discovery of the learning and more.
Students make the change
For Veterans Day on November 11, students at the Orange Schools campus paid tribute to veterans of the United States in a variety of ways: from writing thank you cards to listening to veteran stories, to collecting and distributing “Coins for Courage”.
Students at Moreland Hills Elementary School raised over $ 2,600 in cash for this project. That total will provide at least 10 U.S. veterans with a safe and inspiring all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC, via Honor Flight Cleveland.
This is the largest amount of money raised to date for this program, according to a press release from the district.
The school coordinated the effort with PTA parents and students from the Orange High School National Honor Society who helped count and distribute the money.
Cards and sweets collected
Students and staff at Brady Middle School paid tribute to the military on Veterans Day through Patriot Pen cards, collections and essays.
Students collected over 80 pounds of candy to send to soldiers, as well as letters and cards they wrote to soldiers and veterans.
General cards that were addressed to “Dear Veteran” have been dropped off at Sandusky and Cleveland VA Hospitals, while cards addressed to Honor Flight recipients will be given to them on the next Honor Flight trip to Cleveland, May -be this spring.
The candies will be wrapped and sent to the Angel Soldier Treats Program.
Orange Zone Services Committee
The Orange Area Service Committee was founded to help neighbors in need.
Managed by volunteers and fully supported by donations from the community, OASC helps with food, rent, utilities, car repairs, medical bills, clothing, school needs, youth programs and more.
Anyone interested in learning more, asking for help, or making a donation can visit orangeareaservice.org.