By Christina Gordon & Shawn Williams….
In celebration of Constitution Day, on Friday, September 17, 2010, Mayor Joseph L. Kelley attended the Life Skills Center located at 3400 NW 135th Street in Opalocka, to commemorate the 223rd anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution in 1787.
In 2004, the U.S. Congress passed legislation requiring educational institutions that receive federal funding to present a program focused on the U. S. Constitution each year, on Constitution and Citizenship Day. This program was implemented by Life Skills Center, a Miami-Dade County Public Charter School that offers second chance opportunities with a tuition free enrollment, individualized, computer assisted, job placement and self-paced coursework with teacher supported instruction for youth that have dropped out of High School or are concerned about graduating on time.
Upon Invitation by the Life Skills Social Studies teacher, Erve Pyram, Mayor Kelley stated that he was honored to share his views on the meaning of Constitution Day to help students, ages 16-22, get a better understanding on how to apply the document to their daily lives.
“Recognizing that the Constitution is a hallmark of everything that we stand for as a nation,” Kelley said he wanted to motivate the students to, most importantly, continue their education at Life Skills, where the students have the same graduation requirements as public school students and are assisted individually while earning a State Recognized High School Diploma. The Mayor emphasized the fact that there are laws, rights and privileges granted to each of us by this great Nation, through the Constitution, which should encourage the youth to participate in local government and programs. The Mayor said he hopes the students will also learn to take advantage of opportunities afforded to them by the City of Opa-locka! He then boasted about the newly renovated Sherbondy Park, currently under construction, and some of the exciting programs that the local government is “planning for the City’s youth.” To signify the unlimited possibilities for each student, Mayor Kelley reflected on his life as a product of a single parent home, raised by a struggling mother who worked two jobs. After sharing his thoughts on the meaning of the Constitution, which is the framework for the organization of the United States government that “gives ALL the people freedom to pursue goals and live happy, peaceful, productive lives,” Mayor Kelley presented the Life Skills Center with a Proclamation.
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