In an effort to expand and strengthen community ties, Geneva 2020 recently partnered with the Finger Lakes Martial Arts Center, an organization which shares Geneva 2020’s goal of civic engagement, assisting in the continuous improvement of the lives of children in the community and the enrichment of their educational experience.
“When local businesses opt to support the goals of Geneva 2020, the ripple effects of such partnerships are far reaching,” explains Katie Flowers, director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. “Business owners like Finger Lakes Martial Arts’ Jerry Martin are indicative of the positive examples of those who seek to engage in the community in specific ways, which positively impact school success efforts.”
The Finger Lakes Martial Arts Center has been heavily involved in the Geneva School District’s P.A.W.S program for the past five years, both in the West Street and North Street schools. This program “catches” children demonstrating positive behavior. These types of behaviors fall into four categories: Patience and Kindness, Academic Excellence, Working Together and Safe and in Control behavior. Every month, one class per grade level is rewarded for earning the most PAWS by having a Kung Fu Class with Martin, the chief instructor. Through this initiative, more than 120 children per month are being exposed to a sample of what Kung Fu is and can do for them.
Launched in March, the Geneva 2020 initiative seeks to harness the resources of the entire Geneva community – non-profit organizations, businesses and individuals – to provide assistance in three key areas identified by the Geneva City School District as being critical to the future of Geneva’s children: graduation rate, career and college readiness and literacy.