(Savannah, GA) Melaver, Inc. Moses Jackson Center LEED

By December 21, 2007Local NewsWIRE


Children at Moses Jackson Center learning ballet, discipline
(SAVANNAH) – Gianna Nelson loves the arts, and once a week she gets to share that love with a group of kids at the Moses Jackson Center.  
“They’re getting an opportunity to get exposed to the arts that they might not otherwise have,” said Nelson, who volunteers to teach the ballet class once a week. “It’s important for kids to be exposed to the arts,” she said.
An active community volunteer, Nelson started the ballet class this fall after teaching kids at the Moses Jackson Center other styles of dance for the year before that. She bought them some dance shoes and other essentials and has found some community support.
Sustainable property developer Melaver, Inc., which is leading the redevelopment of nearby Sustainable Fellwood, donated a ballet barre; the students had been using folding chairs. To the delight of the girls, the barre arrived via UPS during their recital Dec. 19 in the center’s cafetorium, just in time for Christmas and the New Year. Nelson’s students from the previous dance classes also sang “Hero” to her during the recital.
“I get an opportunity to do what I like best, which is teaching ballet,” Nelson said. “And I like to see young people learn, and to see they can do it, to see the expression on their faces when they realize they can do it. I find it very rewarding. The fact that they’ve enjoyed it means a lot to me.”
A Crime Analyst at the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department’s Analysis & Planning Unit, Nelson compiles, maintains and analyzes crime statistics for the local police department. She’s active in the Baldwin Park Neighborhood Association, having been treasurer and president. She also serves as a representative for Baldwin Park on Step Up Savannah’s Resident Team. From her own experience as a dance student, Nelson knows the lessons the kids are learning now will translate into life lessons.
“They’re learning self-discipline and paying attention to detail,” she said. “They’re starting to show a little more discipline. It gives them poise. It helps with their carriage and some of their self-image.”
“It’s giving them confidence,” Nelson said. “They’re stepping outside their normal boundaries and when they have a success it gives them confidence.”
Vivian Salley, youth supervisor for City of Savannah’s Leisure Services at the Moses Jackson Center, said the children are becoming well-rounded by being exposed to the arts. She’s also seen several children blossom in Nelson’s classes. Last year, one timid special needs boy started interacting more with other children after taking part in her classes. A young girl who was very timid and shy started feeling more confident and willing to take on challenges.
“It does so much for them,” Salley said. “It’s empowering the students in other areas of their lives. It’s also building their self-esteem, self-control and discipline. She wants to give back to the community. She’s very dedicated.”
“I know she’s tired because she’s coming from work, but she’s always bubbly, and they really respond to her.”
Melaver, Inc. is a third-generation, family-owned business based in Savannah, Georgia. The sustainable real estate developer currently has eight LEED certified projects in their portfolio and developed one of the first LEED certified buildings in the U.S. which is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Melaver Inc. also developed the first all-retail LEED shopping center in the country, Abercorn Common, including the first LEED McDonald’s worldwide.
Contact: (912) 236-0781
From left to right 
Brianna Fuelto
Nakira Greene
Steveysha Johnson

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