Thursday, August 1, 2013

Zariah Kelly-Reid has big plans as new president of Robinson Gardens Development Youth Group

SPRINGFIELD - Zariah Kelly-Reid is making big plans for the Robinson Gardens Development Youth Group.

And as its newly elected president, she is poised to carry them out at the Springfield Housing Authority family development in the Pine Point neighborhood of the city.

The 14-year-old, a recent graduate of Van Sickle Middle School who is bound for Chicopee High School in September, is aiming for a cohesive group of young residents who will do things like clean up open areas, pitch in on a community garden, focus on school work, job hunt, and learn about careers and opportunities that await them in a grown-up world.

"I'm really focused on doing things that can help our community, and help us all to be better people," said Zariah. "We all want to be a part of something bigger."

Zariah is at the head of a new team that is working with Springfield Housing Authority youth engagement coordinator Jimmie Mitchell on programs, events and activities to keep young people engaged on their futures at Robinson Gardens.

Mitchell said Zariah is poised to make good things happen there.

"She's young, she's energetic, and she is a positive influence on all the young people here," Mitchell said. "She's already proven to be great."

Mitchell has been working with teens and young adults at Robinson Gardens the past two years. Besides being a daily presence at the development, he brings in speakers from various professions on a weekly basis, to expose young people to careers that might entice them. He also works on education, job training, and of course, employment opportunities.

"We're helping the kids get summer jobs, things that will help them out," he said. "We focus on positive things for the kids. We try to keep them busy."

For Zariah, who has lived at Robinson Gardens with her family for the past year, the new leadership position means ongoing work with Mitchell to bring to the youth group programs and events that will steer them toward success.

"We're going to go around and get a lot more kids involved this summer. I want to get to know everyone, and to make sure we have things for them to do," she said.

Already, Zariah has formed a leadership team that includes her vice president, Jaleace Lindsay, who is also 14. As a seven-year resident at the development, Jaleace has the advantage of perspective, and of understanding a bit of Robinson Gardens history.

"It's a pretty good place to live, and we're going to make it even better," Jaleace said."I always wanted to be a part of something special, like this. I think it's going to be a great summer working together on interesting things," said Jaleace, who plans to study nursing at Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy starting in September.

Others on the team include Christopher Davis, 10, and Raemiah Brown, 14.

"Being a part of this group helps you to accomplish what you want to be when you get older," explained Raemiah. "It helps you think about your future."

Christopher added, "Jimmie's good. He teaches us about good stuff."


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Microsoft Office comes to Android phones, not tablets

by ANICK JESDANUN / AP Technology Writer

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 6:18 AM

Updated today at 6:18 AM

NEW YORK? -- Microsoft is bringing a pared-down version of its Office software to Android phones, but it won't work on Android tablets just as it doesn't on iPads.

The software will be available starting Wednesday. It requires a $100-a-year subscription to Office and won't be sold separately.

The new offering follows the release of an iPhone version in June and brings an Office app to phones running the most widely used operating system on new smartphones.

Microsoft Corp. is trying to make its Office 365 subscription more compelling, without removing an advantage that tablet computers running Microsoft's Windows system now have -- the ability to run popular Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

"The release of this app shows that we're committed to keep providing additional value for Office 365 subscribers," the company wrote in a blog post. "Office 365 subscribers will now be able to access, view, and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents with Windows Phone, iPhone and Android phones.?

Microsoft is pushing subscriptions as a way to get customers to keep paying for a product that was historically sold in a single purchase. The company touts such benefits as the ability to run the package on multiple computers and get updates for free on a regular basis. However, a subscription can be more expensive than buying the package outright for just one or two computers.

Microsoft said it designed Office Mobile for Android phones specifically for small-screen devices, even though many people will prefer editing documents on a tablet's larger screen. The company has a version for iPads and Android tablets, called Office Web Apps, but that runs on a Web browser and requires a constant online connection. The new Android software is an app that gets installed on the phone and can work offline.

With a subscription, customers typically get to use Office on up to 10 devices. Five of them can be Windows or Mac computers or Windows tablets. The other five can be iPhones or Android phones. Windows phones come with Office installed and do not count toward the limit.

In keeping the software off the iPad, the top-selling tablet computer, Forrester Research analyst J.P. Gownder has estimated that Microsoft is potentially ceding $1.4 billion a year in revenue, based on 10 percent of the 140 million iPad owners paying for a $100 subscription. Gownder said failure to provide it on the iPad or Android tablets gives incentives for users to explore competing offerings such as QuickOffice from Google and iWork from Apple.

Like the other mobile versions, the new Android software is designed for lightweight use. For example, you can use it to view and edit an attachment sent by email. But it's not meant to create a complex spreadsheet from scratch.

The new software requires Android 4.0 or later -- the Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean flavors of Google's operating system. It's available through Google's online Play store. At first, it's available only in the U.S., though Microsoft plans to expand to 117 markets with versions in more than 30 languages.

Microsoft did not announce any plans for BlackBerry phones.


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