Kids in the Delaware Valley will have the chance to tap into a lifesaving opportunity when they participate in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson.
The purpose of the event is to generate awareness about the importance of teaching kids to swim and to help prevent drowning.
The WLSL will attempt to set a new World Guinness Record for the fourth year in a row. Team WLSL holds the current Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson, which stands at 24,873 participants, representing 15 different countries across five continents.
The Nile Swim Club, located at 513 Union Avenue in Yeadon, is one of hundreds of sites who will be hosting swimming lessons simultaneously on June 18. Lessons at the Nile Swim Club will start at 10 a.m.
“We are more than glad to be participating in this swim venture. What we’re trying to do is to teach kids the correct way to swim. We want to get as much people as possible to out and learn how to swim on this day,” said Andre K. Andrews, a certified water safety instructor who teaches at Nile Swim Club.
Andrews said the swim club can accommodate about 125 children for the basic swimming lesson.
He hopes the event can go beyond just being a one-day affair for participating children.
“We’re hoping to use this swimming event like this to as a way to broaden their horizons.
The best exercise that you could do is swimming. You are using every muscle of your body,” he added.
The lessons will also be held at the YMCA of the Brandywine Valley in Chester County.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention drowning is the leading cause of unintended, injury related death of children ages 1 to 5.
The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson was created as a platform to help
aquatic facilities and the many different regional, national and international water safety and drowning prevention organizations work together to communicate the importance of teaching children how to swim.
Ramona M. Wilcox was the owner of Touch of Essence Salon and Model Management.
Wilcox died on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at Lankenau Hospital. She was 52.
She was born on Dec. 21, 1960 to Mary and Willis Hackett. She was educated in the Philadelphia public school system where she graduated from Overbrook High School. She went on to further her education and received her license in cosmetology from the Wilfred Academy.
Upon receiving her cosmetology license, Wilcox opened a salon in West Philadelphia which she operated until her passing. In 2010, she and her children started RTE Model Management. This was an outlet for youth with an interest in the fashion and modeling industry. The youth referred to her as “Mom Mona.”
Wilcox accepted the Lord at an early age which led her to obtain her evangelist license from Jameson Seminary School.
In addition to her mother, Wilcox is survived by her sons, Travis and Lance; daughter, Nagila Wilcox; grandchildren, Sante Shelton Jr., Hydirah Blake, Topaz Blake Jr.; brother, Willis Hackett Jr. and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held on June 21 at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2001 West Lehigh Avenue. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial is in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 215 Belmont Avenue, Bala Cynwyd.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
There’s a new head at the helm of the Camp Management Corporation, which operates the College Settlement Camp, the Henry J. and Willemina B. Kuhn Day Camp and the Outdoor School in Horsham.
As the new executive director/CEO of the Camp Management Corporation, Roger Jackson is the first African American and the fifth leader in the College Settlement’s history.
“It’s an honor and humbling to know that in an organization that has over an 100 year history, not only am I the first African American, but I am the fifth leader that they have ever had. That’s pretty humbling when you sit back and put it in perspective,” said Jackson, who is a native of Philadelphia.
“The mission of the organization has stayed pretty true in terms of serving the underserved and in particular focused in on the mission of providing underprivileged kids with a quality camp and outdoor education experience. All of the fundraising and all of the revenue from investments goes towards keeping the camp and camp fees affordable.”
The residential College Settlement Camp and the Kuhn Day Camp serve financially disadvantaged youth from Philadelphia and surrounding counties. The Outdoor School is a three-day residential, environmental education program offered in the spring and fall for fifth through eighth grade classes from area public and private schools.
“I think that part of the reason why they selected me is my history in Philadelphia and to ensure that we can continue to gain support from Philadelphia in terms of helping to raise funds to keep the camp operating and ensuring that every slot that we have is filled with a kid that needs the opportunity,” said Jackson.
Jackson took over the helm from Frank Gerome, who served as the College Settlement’s executive director since 1982.
Jackson brings an extensive background in program design and development, leadership, strategic planning and youth development to his new role. He comes to the College Settlement from the Columbia North YMCA where he served as executive director. He has served as CEO of the Arise Academy Charter High School in Philadelphia; vice president and CEO of the Educational Advancement Alliance, Inc., principal of the Paul Robeson High School for Human Services and director of the Office of College and Career Awareness for the Philadelphia School District.
Jackson has also served as an adjunct professor and administration at Kutztown and Lincoln universities and senior program director with the YMCAs in Philadelphia and Chicago.
He said he was drawn to the College Settlement Camp because of its ability to impact the youth by changing their environment while they are at the campsite. The camps sit on 235 acres off Witmer Road in Horsham. The property is home to more than 25 structures, a lake, two swimming pools, adventure challenge courses, an environmental center and a community-based farm.
“For me it was really the mission that attracted me,” Jackson said of his move to the College Settlement.
“The board throughout the whole process really emphasized the commitment that one thing they were not compromising was providing experiences for underprivileged kids. No matter what the money situation was - we just have to work harder to raise the money — we’re not changing the commitment. To me, that just spoke volumes and that was something that I absolutely wanted to be a part of,” he said.
The College Settlement Camp offers affordable rates and financial assistance for children to attend. Low income students pay $150 for the four-week day program and $250 for the overnight program. The College Settlement currently serves children in its overnight camp ages 8 to 12 and ages 7 to 12 in the daytime camp. Jackson would like to see the camp experience expanded to serve kids up to age 15.
“I really want the College Settlement to be kind of household name in Philadelphia for parents and for young people,” he added.
Jackson is president and CEO of R. Jackson & Associates, an educational consulting firm and the author of “I Ain’t Scared to Say It,” a compilation of editorials on political and social issues.
He is a former middle school math and science teacher and varsity basketball and track coach in the Philadelphia and Norristown school districts.
A graduate and Wall of Fame inductee of John Bartram High School, Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Kutztown University, a master’s degree in elementary education from Temple University and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Lehigh University. He is the married father of two daughters.
According to its website, the College Settlement of Philadelphia was founded in 1889 to provide social, cultural and educational programs for the immigrants of South Philadelphia. The College Settlement Camp was founded in 1922 by Anna Freeman Davies to augment the cultural, educational and recreational programs conducted in the city by The College Settlement of Philadelphia.
Contractors seeking to do business with the city of Philadelphia may soon be required to disclose information about their respective board compositions.
Philadelphia City Council has passed the “Women on Boards” bill introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown that calls for contractors who seek to do business with the city to disclose certain demographic information including gender, race and geographic data of those serving as board members and executive staff.
“We cannot manage what we cannot measure. This bill will offer us the transparency needed to determine if a contractor values diversity in the workplace,” Reynolds Brown said in a press release.
“It is a fact that when three or more women are at the table in executive positions, the content and tone of a meeting changes. Women bring a different, yet equally significant set of priorities to the table.”
The measure has been supported by the Forum of Executive Women, an organization that works to leverage the power of executive women in the Philadelphia region.
“We [the Forum] believe that having more women in executive positions and on boards is good for business. Diverse thinking lends itself to natural checks and balances, and adds different perspectives on consumers, many of whom are female,” said Autumn Bayles, president of the Forum.
Joe Grace, director of public policy, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, said the organization is “strongly committed” to principles of diversity and inclusion.
“We support the same broad principles that we think the councilwoman is trying to achieve through her legislation,” said Grace.
Grace said the chamber has been working with stakeholders on programs that serve to increase minority supplier diversity, access to large business procurement opportunities and encourage ongoing dialogue with their members to embrace best practices for enhanced diversity and inclusion.
The bill is a recommendation from a 2013 report produced and sponsored by Reynolds Brown and reported out of City Council Committee on Commerce and Economic Development. The report titled “Women on Corporate Boards: We Can Do Better!” found that women comprise only 11 percent of the board seats at the top 100 public companies in the region. The report also indicates that women of color make up less than one percent of the region’s board seats. According to the report, women occupied five percent of board seats at Fortune 500 companies in 1976 and by 2011 that number rose to 16 percent.
Mayor Michael Nutter is expected to sign the bill which would go into effect immediately thereafter. Enforcement will be handled by Philadelphia Department of Commerce through the Office of Economic Opportunity.
General Motors Co. has named a longtime manufacturing executive to head its North American factories.
Gerald Johnson will become GM’s vice president of North American manufacturing, effective July 1. Johnson, 51, will oversee 74,000 employees across 56 facilities including assembly, stamping, powertrain and component operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. He will report to global manufacturing chief Tim Lee.
Johnson’s most recent role was executive director of global program quality and launch, where he led several quality initiatives to improve global product launches.
His 33-year career includes many leadership positions in labor relations and manufacturing, including an overseas assignment in Zurich. Early in his career, Johnson held a number of positions in human resources and stamping manufacturing.
“Gerald’s proven leadership, experience and passion for product quality will serve him well in this role,” Lee said in a statement. “He leads by example as a mentor and strong communicator, engaging his full team to ensure we build only the best for our customers.
He succeeds Diana Tremblay, who was named vice president of GM’s new global business services group, a new division that aims to improve service quality and reduce administrative, human resources and facilities management costs. She will report to Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann.
Johnson started his GM career in 1980 at the company’s Fisher Body Plant in Euclid, Ohio. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial administration from Kettering University and a master’s degree in manufacturing operations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.