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Community partners make possible a state-of-the-art media center for Tallahassee's Sabal Palm Elementary School

Sabal Palm Media Center 1.jpg
Tom Flanigan
The ribbon cutting ceremony inside the newly-recreated Sabal Palm Media Center included a presentation to Mae Cleveland in gratitude for the project contribution from her and her late husband Rex.

As a result of its status as the district's first Community Parnership School, Tallahassee's Sabal Palm Elementary now has a sparkling new media center. During the official ribbon cutting on Thursday, Sept. 15,
Sabal Palm student and reading club member Nha'Zjohn Barnes said a visit to his school's library used to be a pretty uninspiring affair.

"The books we used to have were ripped, stained and from long ago. We even found one from 1911."

But now, Sabal Palm Principal Shannon Davis said the old library has become a state of the art multi-media playground for students.

"We wanted to update literature and especially the seating. That was very important to us."

Among the many partners who made the transformation possible was Mae Cleveland and her deceased husband Rex. She recalled how things were at Sabal Palm years ago when she worked as a school district psychologist.

"I remember the principal then, Mr. Allen as being positive and very caring for the students, as were the teachers. But it was a school within a community of families with needs. Now, it has a lot of its needs being met."

Sabal Palm Media Center 2.jpg
Tom Flanigan
Elizabeth, a member of the Sabal Palm student news team, was showing off the facility's anchor desk, used for online broadcasts.

That's because Sabal Palm, as Leon County's first Community Partnership School, has many private and non-profit organizations helping out. Besides the physical rennovation, new books and improved seating, the new center includes a professional-quality studio the student "news team" uses to produce online video content about Sabal Palm happenings.

(This statement about the nature of the Sabal Palm partnership comes from the Children's Home Society.)

The Community Partnership Schools™ model at Sabal Palm is a long-term commitment among Children’s Home Society of Florida, Leon County Schools, FAMU and FSU Primary Health, bringing together high-quality academics, health care, counseling, mentoring and more — right on site at the school where students and families are comfortable.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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