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Welcome to the February 2018 Newsletter

Thank you for your interest and engagement in Milwaukee's Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI). As always, don’t hesitate to let us know if you or your organization have news to share, and don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest updates!

"I Love Westlawn" Community Potluck Brightens Valentine's Day

The Westlawn Resident Council's "I Love Westlawn" reunion potluck, held on February 14th, brought together friends and family of Westlawn to celebrate the memories created there and to think about what the future holds for Westlawn Gardens.

Participants shared their favorite foods and music, re-connected with old friends, had Valentine's Day photos taken, and even won some prizes!

Many thanks to Jackie Burrell & Delicia Morris for their vision and organization, the volunteers who helped decorate and serve food, and all the people that came out to celebrate Valentine's Day at Westlawn Gardens!

Best Babies Zone Conference

Members of the Westlawn Best Babies Zone (BBZ) coalition traveled to the national BBZ conference in Oakland, CA in January.  BBZ is an innovative, multi-sector approach to reducing infant mortality and racial disparities in birth outcomes. 

Last fall, Westlawn was selected as one of nine communities across the nation to receive best practice technical assistance from the BBZ team to improve birth and health outcomes by mobilizing communities to address the social determinants that affect health. The Westlawn neighborhood was selected because of the strong alignment of BBZ strategies with the Milwaukee Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families and the Choice Neighborhood Initiative.

Shown below (l to r), Cheri Pies of the University of California at Berkeley, who serves as principal investigator for the BBZ initiative; Mayor Tom Barrett; Natalie Harlan of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County; Tasha Jenkins of the Milwaukee Health Department; Marcia Blackman of the United Way; and Paul Williams of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee/CNI. 

Adult Services Pathway Program at Silver Spring Neighborhood Center

Silver Spring Neighborhood Center's Adult Services Pathways Program will provide job readiness training, career navigation and industry touring to unemployed men and women ages 18-45 living within 53218, 53223 and 53225 zip codes. Adult Services will provide participants with direct industry exposure and access that will assist them in identifying career choices that will lead to jobs.

Enrollment has already begun! Applicants may apply Monday- Friday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm or contact staff at the information listed below.

Silver Spring Neighborhood Center 5460 North 64th Street
Tanya Endisch, Program Assistant (414) 463-7950 Ext. 14
Kiera Jackson, Program Assistant (414) 463-7950 Ext. 13
Shyrida Lane, Program Manager (414)463-7950 Ext. 17

Business Networking Event at Zoofari Conference Center

The City of Milwaukee, HACM, MPS, MMSD, and Milwaukee County will be hosting a business networking event at the Zoofari Conference Center on Wednesday, March 7th from 3-5pm.

The event will connect construction and consulting primes with local, small businesses to partner on upcoming Milwaukee County, City of Milwaukee, MMSD, MPS, and HACM projects. We encourage firms to participate to strengthen existing business relationships and find new partners.

The event is free but parking space is limited. Please share with anyone interested and register here.

Business Spotlight: GO Riteway Transportation Group

GO Riteway Transportation Group, located at 6301 W Mill Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53218, is a neighborhood asset that provides jobs to residents and transportation to the citizens of Milwaukee and even all across the state of Wisconsin. Powered by Wisconsin’s largest fleet — including airport shuttles, private sedans and SUVs, motor-coaches, school buses and more — their team of transportation experts are dedicated to helping you get to where you need to be, safely and efficiently.

If you or anyone you know are interested in a job with GO Riteway, please reach out to Curtissa McMillian at or call (414) 410-8089.

Resident Spotlight: Jeanette Wright-Claus

Artist. Steward. Resident. Jeanette Wright-Claus is all of these things, and more, to the community in the Choice Neighborhood.

She and her husband moved to the neighborhood over 32 years ago when they wanted to buy a house, and the neighborhood has been home ever since. She moved here for the parks and the tree-lined streets. "I grew up where I had access to parks, and I found that same connection in this neighborhood." 

She is known throughout the community for her beautiful drawings and paintings (A video interview, including shots of these drawings, can be seen here), and she is dedicated to committing time and energy to making improvements in the area. Jeanette serves on the stewardship team that is helping to guide the direction of creative placemaking efforts in the Choice Neighborhood. She is using her artistic expertise to beautify the area and give all residents a sense of "home."

We are fortunate to have residents such as Jeanette guiding the Choice Neighborhood Initiative in positive directions.

Earn & Learn Summer Youth Internship Program is Back!

Applications for the Earn & Learn Summer Youth Internship Program are now available online and are due by March 23rd.

The Earn & Learn Summer Youth Internship Program places youth ages 16 - 19 in an internship within city government for the summer, providing job training, professional skills, and income. Interns will work 20 hours per week and participate in "Friday Education Days" while earning $8.75 per hour. Youth ages 14 to 15 are eligible for a Community Work Experience position with Employ Milwaukee here.

To learn more about the Earn & Learn Summer Youth Internship Program, visit here or call (414) 286-6076.

State of the City Address Highlights Westlawn Gardens and Former Resident Alysia Mullins

Mayor Tom Barrett addressed the citizens of Milwaukee in the annual State of the City address this Monday, February 26th. In the address, the mayor took time to applaud the redevelopment of the Westlawn neighborhood and to highlight the inspiring story of former HACM resident - and new homeowner - Alysia Mullins (shown below with HACM Secretary-Executive Director Tony Pérez). Alysia found housing stability at Westlawn in 2012 and used HACM programs to move to self-sufficiency in 2017. You can watch Mayor Barrett highlight Alysia's story here.

WRTP/BIG STEP: Opening Doors to Careers For Young Adults

WRTP/BIG STEP and HACM are partnering to provide a program to help 15 -18 year olds find a career that fits, understand what success is in the workplace, practice applying for jobs, and link to work opportunities for summer 2018.

Sessions are held the second Saturday of every month until August 2018 at 5555 N. 62nd Street in Westlawn Gardens. Moms and dads are encouraged to attend as well. Lunch is provided and M-Cards will be given to all those who attend. Plus, any attendee that brings a friend will receive a gift card! Please call (414) 342-9787 to register.

The Milwaukee Bucks are Hiring!

If you have always dreamed of working for the Milwaukee Bucks, but you can't shoot a basketball, there is still hope!

The Milwaukee Bucks Arena is committed to hiring 50% of their end user workers from the following Milwaukee Area Zip Codes: 53204, 53205, 53206, 53208, 53210, 53212, 52315, 53216. 53215, 53216, 53218, 53221.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying, please go here to sign up for Milwaukee Area Service Hospitality Workers Organization (MASH) and someone from Mash Hiring Hall will be in touch with you! MASH is interested in hiring individuals with experience in food service, hospitality, janitorial, healthcare, catering, retail, and security.

Greenhouse Revitilization Project Begins at Browning Elementary!

Students at Browning Elementary will soon have a revitalized greenhouse to engage in hands-on learning experiences!

This Browning Elementary Greenhouse Revitalization Project will be a three-year project led by Dr. Mike Carriere, an MSOE professor, MSOE honors students, and students from Browning, Thurston Woods, and Kluge elementary schools. Their work will be supported by volunteers from Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful (KPMG).

They will all work to transform the current space into an energy-efficient greenhouse with a student-designed and sustained aquaponics system, a solar dehydrator, and raised bed gardens. Johnson Controls volunteers, through the Blue Sky Project, will be asked to help with the design, creation, and upkeep of the greenhouse.
This greenhouse will teach students important scientific concepts and the importance of being good stewards of the land. A revenue stream from the sale of vegetables, flowers, seeds and fish will help make this project financially sustainable.

Job & Contracting Opportunities During the Redevelopment of Westlawn

Redevelopment of the Westlawn neighborhood will continue over the next several years, and there will be employment and contracting opportunities. Residents interested in construction-related jobs may submit their work history and contact information to the online Section 3 Registry here or contact the HACM Section 3 Coordinator at (414) 286-2940 with questions. Contractors will consult the registry when seeking to fill new positions. Contractors interested in bidding for work should contact the Housing Authority’s Procurement Office here, at, or (414) 286-5892.

MPS Enrollment and Choice Neighborhood School Update

Now is the time for Milwaukee families to choose a kindergarten or Head Start program to start their 3-, 4- or 5-year olds on the path to success. To enroll, visit MPS: Kindergarten Enrollment - February 3 through March 4. Explore MPS School Enrollment Guide as a resource to locating schools and the programs available. The guide also includes step-by-step instructions to help you complete your enrollment application and find resources to guide your decisions.

Learn about the MPS elementary schools that are located in the Choice Neighborhood: Here is what each principal has to say about their school:

"It is an honor to serve as the principal at Kluge School of Creative Arts. Being a principal is very rewarding.  Each day I get an opportunity to positively affect the lives of hundreds of students.  Education can be the key to unlocking a wonderful future for any young person.  It is my goal to help them on the path to that success." - Kluge Principal Keushum Willingham (pictured below, left)

"I enjoy being a principal because I like connecting with all of the families of Kilbourn, not just a classroom of families, and these families become my family. I am most proud of the staff who give unwavering time, compassion and love to our students daily. My staff are diligent when it comes to educating Kilbourn's future and our test scores prove it. We have grown on our state report card from 46% to 77.5% to currently 81.5% which means exceeding expectations." - Kilbourn Principal Thresessa Childs (pictured below, center)

"As a community school, we make efforts to include families in different ways. There is an air of connectedness, we are student-centered and data driven. Failure is not an option at Browning. We strive for excellence and carry each other along." - Browning Principal Raymond Unanka (pictured below, right)

MPS Special Education Leadership Institute for Families

The MPS Special Education Leadership Institute for Families offers sessions that focus on helping parents gain skills needed to ensure their child’s journey to success in school.

Classes will be held every Thursday starting March 15th from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in the Browning Elementary School Library (5440 N. 64th Street). Child care and light snacks will be provided. Please contact Carmen McBride, MPS Choice Neighborhood Initiative Coordinator, at 414-333-1082 to register or for more information.

The schedule and topic of each class is below!

Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families: Mommy and Me Classes

New or expecting moms can learn how to stay physically and mentally well while dealing with pregnancy or a newborn child through the Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families (LIHF).

LIHF will host Mommy and Me sessions every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 10:00-11:30 am at the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center (5460 N 64th St, Milwaukee, WI 53218). Come learn how to best manage the stress and impact of a newborn or expected child. Light snacks will be provided as well as fun exercise time with your baby.

For additional information, please contact Tonda Thompson at 414-263-8337 and visit here for more information.


Silver Spring Neighborhood Center Family Fun Night

The Silver Spring Neighborhood Center will be hosting a Family Fun Night on March 8th from 5-7pm.

The event is open to all families and will include a free dinner, Lego building activities, and arts & crafts events. The family fun night will also include breakout sessions for adults that will focus on stress relief, helping your child grow socially and emotionally, tips on bike safety, and everyone will receive a take home goodie bag.

For more information, please contact Development Director Devin Hudson at (414) 463-7950 Ext. 86.

Learn How to Best Save Money with America Saves Week!

To celebrate the ongoing America Saves Week (Feb. 26-March 3, 2018), America Saves is launching the #ImSavingForSweepstakesIt’s easy to enter. Just tell America Saves your savings goal and make a plan to reach it for your chance to win $500 toward your goal, then boost your potential prize by an additional $250 by sharing your savings goal, story, or tip on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 

When you’re ready to get started, you can enter to get your shot at up to $750 here and also if you tag our wonderful partner organization #WWBIC on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you will be placed in an EXTRA drawing for a $100.00 voucher for Southwest Airlines

Get creative with your social media posts by taking a video or picture in front of what you are saving for, use a video or photo editing tool to place yourself in the frame with your goal, or use an app to add some character to your submission! Have fun, save money, and inspire others to do the same!

Milwaukee Business Journal Presents: STEaM Summit For Girls

It's time we engage more women in male-dominated fields like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and to integrate the a (Art) that adds magic! Join the Milwaukee Business Journal March 10 for a day full of interactive breakout sessions, vendor booths, and panel discussions.

This event is designed for girls ages 10-18 and the parents, teachers, & mentors who support them, but all are welcome! It will be hosted at the Italian Community Center (631 E Chicago Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202). The event will include breakfast, lunch, networking opportunities, breakout sessions, and the opportunity to learn about and get hands on experience with the STEM field.

If you or anyone you know is interested, you can register here.

Looking For A Job In Havenwoods?

The Havenwoods Economic Development Corporation is using their HavenWorks job board to connect residents to jobs in the area.

If you, or anyone you know, is looking for employment, the HavenWorks job board is a fantastic resource. You can search through job opportunties online here.

Feel free to share the link to make sure that those who are eager to work have a connection to employers looking to hire.

Homeownership and Home Rehab Help from HEDC

Owning a home can often have lower monthly payments than what many in Milwaukee pay for rent. Even if you are not ready to buy a home, contact Jessica Noth of Havenwoods Economic Development Corporation at (414) 431-2271 or to learn how you can start on the path to homeownership.  

Already have a home but need help with repairs? Jessica can also tell you about home rehab resources that may be available to you. 

Help Plan The Rhythm & Blooms Summer Concert Series

Are you interested in helping plan and pick bands for the Rhythm & Blooms summer concert series at Green Tree Garden? Contact Jessica Noth at (414) 431-2271 or We need your help!

Save the Date

March 3, 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.: Havenwoods State Forest Family Nature Hike (6141 N Hopkins St, Milwaukee, WI 53209)
Lichens and mosses capture and hold nutrients and water, making them the perfect place for a water bear to call home. We’ll search for these tiny “bears” outside and attempt to view them under magnification. Havenwoods has events all throughout the month- click here to see them all and access their seasonal newsletter!

March 10th and March 24th, 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.: LIHF Mommy and Me Class at Silver Spring Neighborhood Center (5460 N 64th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53218)
New or expecting moms- are you looking for a space to learn how to stay physically and mentally well while dealing with your pregnancy or newborn child? Look no further than the Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families. Come learn how to best manage the stress and impact of a newborn or expected child. Light snacks will be provided as well as fun exercise time with your baby.

March 26, 6 p.m.: Westlawn Resident Council Meeting at 5555 N 62nd Street

April 21, 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.:  Earth Day Neighborhood Cleanup and Recycling Event at Lighthouse Youth Center, 5641 N. 68th Street
Come join the Lighthouse Youth Center, Redemption Lutheran Church, and Lighthouse Block Watch as they work to clean up and recycle this Earth day. Contact Mark Gunderson at 414-469-3014 or for more information.
Do you have news or an event you would like us to share? Email us at and we'll add it to our online event calendar.
Our mailing address is:
Choice Neighborhood, PO Box 324, Milwaukee, WI 53201 

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Milwaukee's Choice Neighborhood Initiative · PO Box 324 · Milwaukee, WI 53201 · USA

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