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It is a PRIME day to read at Texans Can Academies. Through the schools’ reading process, known by staff and students as “Marquez Reading”, Texans Can Academies focuses on helping students improve reading accuracy, become more comfortable with reading, think through text-based material and write in response to reading. President and CEO of Texans Can Academies, Mr. Richard Marquez, developed the research-based process, and it is integrated into the classroom instruction of all Texans Can Academies campuses every day. 

Marquez Reading was designed to address the most tested skills in all standardized exams, improve low reading scores and support special education needs to help all students succeed. 

Texans Can Academies are a unique network of 14 charter schools located in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The schools are tuition-free, open enrollment, public high schools of choice serving students who have struggled in a traditional high school setting. 

 

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Oak Lawn Center - Prism Health North Texas

In response to the skyrocketing statistics of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Dallas County, Prism Health North Texas (PHNTX) announces the opening of Oak Lawn Center, a brand new clinic that will support the sexual health needs of the local surrounding community in Dallas.

Conveniently located on Lemmon Avenue with easy access to US-75, Oak Lawn Center will provide personalized sexual wellness care that is welcoming, affirming, private and affordable. Services from other Prism Health North Texas locations will be provided at Oak Lawn Center including PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) health care and STI testing and treatment as well as behavioral health support for patients if requested. In addition to services, Prism Health North Texas staff supports every patient with their sexual health needs and a few of the staff members have relocated from other locations to the new center.

Re-imagined with patients in mind, the one-of-a-kind space is modern with an industrial design offering free Wi-Fi, industrial café seating for a more relaxed vibe, multiple spots for resting before and after appointments and computers for patient use if needed. The new location boasts doctor’s visits in and out in less time than an average lunch break and complimentary covered parking and underground parking.

“The Oak Lawn Center was designed with patients’ needs in mind, namely privacy and efficiency,” said Dr. John Carlo, CEO of Prism Health North Texas. “Because PrEP visits must be made more frequently, we want the center to be as patient-friendly and time-efficient as possible.”

Unique to Dallas, Oak Lawn Center offers PrEP services beyond just prescribing a daily pill to prevent the spread of HIV. PrEP has been shown to be up to 99% effective at preventing the contraction of HIV.

Dallas County remains one of 48 counties in the U.S. for the highest rates of new HIV infections and leads the nation for the highest rate of increase from 2016 to 2017 for new Chlamydia and Gonorrhea infections, 49.5% and 46.7% respectively. Having an STI is a risk factor for acquiring HIV, which is why PrEP and regular STI testing are key to reducing the number of new infections.

“We realized there’s an especially high rate of HIV among men who have sex with men in Oak Lawn,” said Dr. Deborah Morris-Harris, CMO of Prism Health North Texas. “Young black men who have sex with men are particularly at risk: their incidence rate of HIV is 47.2 per 100,000. STI data also revealed that the area is particularly high-risk.”

Prism Health North Texas aims to take sexual health out of the closet by removing the stigma and embarrassment of taking care of one’s sexual health and promoting the benefits of good sexual health. In preparation for the Oak Lawn Center opening, a 400-person poll of Dallas/Fort Worth residents was conducted by Prism Health North Texas and concluded that key themes were the anxiety experienced around getting tested and the stigma around personal sexual choices. To help empower people and encourage them to get tested and take preventative measures, Prism Health North Texas launched the “PrEP’d - Because My Sex Life Is A Big D!” campaign, showcasing a diverse set of individuals being fully themselves, empowered, confident and aware of the importance of taking care of their sexual health.

Earlier this year, Prism Health North Texas joined forces with Uptown Physicians Group to continue the high level of medical care currently being delivered to patients and to further expand access to primary and specialty care for those living with HIV, at risk for HIV or needing high-quality primary care. Together, both organizations focus on prevention, health education and access to necessary care while building a strong foundation to create health community centers focused on LGBTQ patients in North Texas.

The newly opened Oak Lawn Center provides the support and resources patients need for optimal health outcomes. No patient is turned away due to lack of insurance or being underinsured, and financial assistance is available for patients that qualify. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and offers late hours every first and third Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

For more information about PrEP services and Oak Lawn Center, please visit www.DallasPrEP.com. For more information about Prism Health North Texas, please visit www.PrismHealthNTX.com.

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Students compete on teams at an esports tournament during the Beyond the Ball: IT Immersion Experience at Texans Can Academy - Dallas Oak Cliff.

Texans Can Academy - Dallas Oak Cliff welcomed a new sports and information technology summer camp to its campus last week. Beyond the Ball: IT Immersion Experience offered summer students the opportunity to explore the world of sports technology careers in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NBA2K.

The very first Beyond the Ball: IT Immersion Experience took place from June 17-20 at Texans Can Academy - Dallas Oak Cliff. At-risk students got the opportunity to learn from leaders in the IT and sports industries and took a hands-on approach to learning what goes into the team and individual players’ performance behind the scenes. Near the end of the program, students demonstrated teamwork by competing in an esports tournament, using skills gained from previous lessons while learning about gaming and esports career opportunities.

“We were very excited for the opportunity to work with Beyond the Ball and to be the very first school to host the IT Immersion Experience,” said Cynthia Miles, principal of Texans Can Academy - Dallas Oak Cliff. “We wanted to bring some kind of tech training to our summer students and this program made a big impact on our students that want to be professional athletes.”

During the camp, Texans Can Academy students learned a variety of skills, including: how to design and build technology apps and inventions used to improve player performance; how to turn NBA2K and gamer skills into big business through coding, entrepreneurship and togetherness; how to analyze player analytics like an NBA scout using technology; and how to create a career pathway that leads to exciting careers in the sports industry.

The four-day schedule kicked off on Monday with an orientation and life skills lesson with a math element, where students created their own wearable shot counters. “The Combine” incorporated timed basketball shooting drills with life skills to teach students statistics and the importance of work ethic. The second day began with a “Team Talk” life skills lesson. Additional lessons throughout the day included the coding and inputs that go into gaming and controllers and learning about gyro sensors and how they capture and observe data in the sports world. Most of the third day was observed for the esports tournament, where students competed on teams to showcase what they have learned about the technology behind the sports. Students toured the new Geekletes facility in DeSoto on Thursday, while meeting and discussing gaming careers, entrepreneurship and real estate with Geekletes CEO Danny Martin.

As part of the program, students had the opportunity to learn from leaders in the IT and sports industry. Speakers included:

  • Thelvie Cullins Jr., a 2016 Top Ten Educator of the Year recipient and calculus teacher at the School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, taught students about how math can be applied to free throws through quadratic equations, parabolas and other techniques.
  • Harry A. Kennedy, CEO of HAK Electronics, educated students about the math behind certain aspects of sports and gaming and taught the basics of Arduino, an open-source electronic prototyping platform enabling users to create interactive electronic objects.
  • Mondrick Jones, a player analytics manager for the Dallas Mavericks, taught students analytical and engineering skills while applying life lessons.
  • Reggie Johnson, an advance scout for the Dallas Mavericks, discussed NBA careers off the court with students.
  • Danny Martin, CEO of Geekletes, gave students a tour of the new Geekletes esports facility and discussed gaming careers, entrepreneurship and real estate.

Beyond the Ball was started with the mission to expose youth to the many careers that exist in the sports world beyond hitting, catching, kicking or dunking a ball. The organization aims to end the epidemic of the educational system losing minds of minority boys to sports dreams.

“Being the mother of two boys, I have always worked to prepare them for success in the real world,” said Erica Molett, founder of Beyond the Ball. “Witnessing my oldest obsess over NBA dreams has always made me nervous. I told him there are millions of boys around the globe with the same goal and they are all trying to fit through the eye of the same needle. Statistics say that only three in 10,000 high school students will be drafted to the NBA. As the remaining 99.97% step into the real world, will they have the STEM and literacy aptitude to excel beyond the court or field?”

The Beyond the Ball: IT Immersion Experience goes beyond providing students with skills they can use in their future technology and sports industry careers. Additional benefits of the program include equipping students with advanced study techniques and habits for the future, preparing students with life skills and employment guidance to help obtain their career pathways, interaction with industry professionals and hands-on application for technical product designs such as drones, apps and cell phones.

“After working with the hardworking and ambitious students of Texans Can Academy - Dallas Oak Cliff this year, it was an honor to launch our inaugural Beyond the Ball camp with Principal Miles and her campus,” said Molett. “Our camps will make a real-world connection between sports, mathematics, literacy, IT and science, which should improve academic performance and introduce new career options.”

As a value-added organization, Texans Can Academies strives to provide students with services and resources beyond the classroom. The organization upholds the mission to provide every student the opportunity to pursue their dreams while removing barriers that keep them from attaining their education.

For more information about the Beyond the Ball: IT Immersion Experience, please visit www.hakelectronics.com/beyondtheball. For more information about Texans Can Academies, please visit www.texanscan.org.

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Wee Can Academy preschool and kindergarten students in their graduation caps and gowns before the ceremony.

A special group of 20 preschoolers and kindergartners recently welcomed summer vacation after graduating from the Texans Can Academies program, Wee Can Academy Ross Avenue. Wee Can Academy, Texans Can Academies’ Early Childhood Development Center, provides onsite education for children six weeks to four years old, along with after school care for children ages five to 12. In addition, Texans Can Academies also partners with early head start programs to offer infants and toddlers (six weeks - 2 ½ years) a learning environment to enhance children’s social skills and cognitive development.

“Our whole staff looks forward to seeing the young students walk across the stage in their mini caps and gowns each school year,” said Feleasha Nelson, Child Care Manager for Wee Can Academy Ross Avenue. “It is rewarding to see the look on each child’s face when they receive their first diploma and it is a memorable day for both the students and their families.”

Wee Can Academy was created by Texans Can Academies as part of the school’s commitment to education and removing barriers for their high school students. Wee Can Academy is available to high school students and offers affordable childcare while they attend their high school classes. Across the state of Texas, there are currently six Wee Can Academy centers located in Texans Can Academies’ campuses. Campuses in the Dallas/Fort Worth area include Carrollton/Farmers Branch, Ross Avenue in East Dallas, Pleasant Grove, Grant East in South Dallas and Fort Worth.

The mission of Wee Can Academy is to provide a nurturing and educational environment for children and to partner with and support the families that are a part of the school. Wee Can Academy provides programs designed to enrich the lives of infants, toddlers and grade school children through play, social and academic activities that offer experiences to stimulate the physical, emotional and cognitive growth of each child. 

The curriculum for students attending Wee Can Academy has been designed with fun in mind to emphasize school support, parent involvement and fun including field trips, sports activities and more. All children in the Wee Can Academy participate in the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Basic (FIE Basic) program designed by Professor Reuven Feuerstein, the Founder and Chairman of the Feuerstein Institute. The program teaches children how to think and how to reason through particularly designed instruments and mediation. FIE Basic tasks are intended to be readily transferable to all educational and everyday life situations. Not only do the methods teach vitally important cognitive strategies - such as how to gather information, strategize, compare and problem solve - they also teach children cognition behind emotions. All literacy programming includes Marquez Reading methods, and students are provided a 30-minute homework period Monday through Thursday.

Every Wee Can Academy campus provides affordable childcare for the community and to Texans Can Academies students that are raising children. The childcare option is a great resource for students who are also parents because it gives them an opportunity to go to school to earn their high school diploma knowing that their child is nearby for them to visit.

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Char'd, a Southeast Asian Kitchen, is celebrating Father's Day by offering dads a free customizable bowl when they bring someone with them that purchases a bowl on Sunday, June 16th at their Richardson location in CityLine Plaza at 1251 State Street, Suite 800, Richardson, TX 75082. The restaurant is steps away from the DART CityLine station.

Char'd gives guests the freedom to mix and match different Asian cuisine with customizable bowls. The chefs have a modern interpretation to traditional recipes. In addition to customizable bowls, the menu at Char'd offers steamed buns, spring rolls, poke bowl, homemade ice cream, local craft beer, and a large selection of wine, among many other delicious options.

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Char’d, a Southeast Asian Kitchen, is celebrating the grand opening of its Richardson location by giving away free bowls to the first 150 guests that attend the grand opening event. The celebration starts at 5:00 p.m. on June 13, 2019 at 1251 State Street, Suite 800, in CityLine Plaza.

Char’d gives guests the freedom to mix and match different Asian cuisine, including Vietnamese, Japanese and Korean flavors, with customizable bowls. The chefs have a modern interpretation to traditional recipes. In addition to customizable bowls, the menu at Char’d offers steamed buns, spring rolls, poke bowl, homemade ice cream, local craft beer, and a large selection of wine, among many other delicious options.

To celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, June 16th, dads can visit the restaurant and get a free customizable bowl when someone they are with purchases a bowl. 

The Richardson restaurant is located in CityLine DFW, a mixed-use development offering restaurants, entertainment and retail, and is steps away from the DART CityLine station.

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Char'd.jpg

Char’d, a Southeast Asian Kitchen, is celebrating the grand opening of its Richardson location by giving away free customizable bowls to the first 150 guests that attend the grand opening event. The celebration starts at 5:00 p.m. on June 13, 2019 at 1251 State Street, Suite 800, in CityLine Plaza.

Char’d gives guests the freedom to mix and match different Asian cuisine, including Vietnamese, Japanese and Korean flavors, with customizable bowls. The chefs have a modern interpretation to traditional recipes. In addition to customizable bowls, the menu at Char’d offers steamed buns, spring rolls, poke bowl, homemade ice cream, local craft beer, and a large selection of wine, among many other delicious options.

To celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, June 16th, dads will get a free customizable bowl when they bring someone with them that purchases a bowl.

The Richardson restaurant is located in CityLine DFW, a mixed-use development offering restaurants, entertainment and retail, and is steps away from the DART CityLine station.

In addition to the newest location in Richardson, Char’d has a restaurant in Mansfield and will also be opening a Fort Worth location in Summer 2019.

 

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Students at Texans Can Academy - Garland learn about different post-graduation options at the Spring Career and College Fair.

High school students at Texans Can Academy - Garland recently took one more step toward planning their paths after graduation. The Garland campus recently hosted its Spring Career and College Fair, introducing every student to different options available to them after they receive their diploma.

The Spring Career and College Fair, held in the school’s gymnasium, gave students the opportunity to speak with representatives from colleges, a variety of local businesses looking for talented individuals and the armed forces. Students learned about different career paths and the opportunities offered by each business organization. Participating colleges also provided information about furthering their education through various college programs, tuition, financial aid, extracurricular activities and the college application process.

Participants from 16 organizations attended the fair including A-MAX Auto Insurance, Institute for Building Technology and Safety, J Paul Roofing and Construction, Ogle School Dallas, Paul Mitchell, Per Scholas, Richland College, United States Army, University of North Texas at Dallas, Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas and more. The Spring Career and College Fair is held to educate students on the variety of options available to them after graduation and help them plan for the next steps in their lives after they walk across the stage to receive their graduation diploma.

Texans Can Academies is dedicated to graduating thinkers and committed to ensuring students have all the information and tools needed for a successful college or career path after graduation. The organization offers students, aged 14-21, a second chance at earning their high school diploma instead of a General Education Development (GED). For more information, please visit www.texanscan.org.

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Texans Can Academy - Dallas Ross Avenue students Jessica Benitez and Ezra Lopez passed the Microsoft Specialist Certification exams, qualifying them as Microsoft Office professionals. Here they are pictured with principal Rufus Johnson and CATE Ms. Ramirez.

Texans Can Academy - Dallas Ross Avenue students Jessica Benitez and Ezra Lopez recently took and passed Microsoft Specialist Certification exams. Both students will be recognized as Microsoft Office professionals with the certification, which will showcase their skills and abilities in future career opportunities.

The Microsoft Certified Professional program enables IT professionals to validate their technical expertise through rigorous, industry-proven and industry-recognized exams. Microsoft Certified Professional exams cover a wide range of Microsoft products, technologies and solutions.

“We are very proud of these two students for passing the exams to gain their Microsoft Office Specialist certification and are excited for students continuing to show interest in career readiness programs,” said Texans Can Academy - Dallas Ross Avenue Principal Rufus Johnson. “We are committed to providing our students the opportunities and tools needed for a successful college or career path after they graduate and leave us.”

Benitez and Lopez prepared for the exams with the help of the school’s advisors and teachers during Saturday school. Saturday school is one of the many resources the school provides to students at no cost for additional tutoring, credit and attendance recovery, and college and career readiness services.

Texans Can Academies offers students, aged 14 to 21, a second chance at earning their high school diploma instead of a General Education Development (GED). Texans Can Academies are a unique network of 14 charter schools located in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The schools are tuition-free, open enrollment, public high schools of choice serving students who have struggled in a traditional high school setting. For more information, please visit www.texanscan.org.

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The Board of Trustees of Texans Can Academies, an open enrollment, free public high school of choice, recently elected Robert Nelson, Penny Rayfield and Bill Schonacher as new members of the board. Texans Can Academies has 14 campuses throughout Texas, including Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The Board of Trustees is entrusted with ensuring the continuance of the critical mission of educating students enrolled with Texans Can Academies.

Robert Nelson was most recently a Clinical Professor at Oklahoma State University. He was previously a Clinical Professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Tulsa. He has served as President of the Oklahoma Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and served on the State Board of Speech Pathology and Audiology.

Penny Rayfield is the CEO and Majority Owner of OnShore Resources, an electronics assembly services company located in Lockhart, Texas. She is also a Texas Association of Business (TAB) Board Member and currently serves as the Chair of TAB’s Criminal Justice Reform Committee.

Bill Schonacher is the President & CEO of IBC Bank-Oklahoma directing all aspects of the bank’s network across the state of Oklahoma and the North Texas region. Currently, Schonacher serves on the Executive Committee of the State Chamber of Oklahoma and serves as a board member for The Oklahoma Bankers Association, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Allied Arts, Oklahoma Achieves, United Way of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma Hall of Fame and Forward OKC IV and V Steering Committee.

The Board of Trustees, a group of dedicated and talented volunteers, governs Texans Can Academies. These community leaders offer their support and resources to help the schools in their mission of providing the highest quality education for all students, especially those who have struggled in a traditional high school setting, in order to ensure their economic independence.