• Orlando mayor to tout success of changes in Parramore


    ORLANDO, Fla. - The city of Orlando is helping the Parramore neighborhood keep its youth on track. 

    Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on Tuesday will share that outreach mission on a national stage in Baltimore.

    One new thing brought to the Parramore area recently is the Orange County Center for Excellence School.

    Another program that's been around more than 10 years is the Parramore Kidz Zone, a program that invests in childhood education and after-school programs. Because of its success, Dyer will be highlighting the program on a nationwide panel, acting as a model other communities can follow.


    Resident Marie Burks said the changes in the community are noticeable.

    "They have improved it a lot," said Burks.

    Burks has lived in the neighborhood since she was in the seventh grade and said she’s grateful for the changes such as road repairs, the new Orlando Police Department Headquarters and the new school.

    "My grandson goes to the school and they have improved a lot, even around the area on Church Street. I live right across from the soccer stadium and it's nice,” Burks said.

    Photos: Murals in Parramore's West Art District

    In addition to the improvements, programs like Parramore Kidz Zone have improved the community. About 5,000 children have taken part in the program since it launched in 2006.

    Juvenile crime in Parramore dropped by 66 percent, according to the city.

    Dyer will be speaking on a panel in Baltimore to highlight the city's secrets on reducing the violence in communities by focusing on lifting up youth.

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