The Nap Ford Community-The Orlando Times

The Orlando Times

The Nap Ford Community

After 20 Years, The Nap Ford Community School Organization Finally Has A Permanent Home 

Acquiring 6 Acres Of Property In The Heart Of Orlando’s Urban Corridor Along John Young Parkway

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ORLANDO - After 20 years, one of Central Floridas oldest locally run and operated charter school organizations named after the City of Orlandos first Commissioner to represent District 5, Napoleon ‘Nap’ Ford, will relocate into their permanent home.  The schools Executive Director, Dr. Jennifer Porter-Smith, has led the charge for this $15M project intended not only to house the organizations school, Legends Academy, but to further demonstrate its pledge and investment in the children and families of the Greater Washington Shores neighborhoods. 

Dr. Porter-Smith states, I am humbled by the rich history of those that created academic institutions in our state designed to address the unique needs of our community.  I am standing on the shoulders of our educational legends; those such as Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and Thomas DeSaille Tucker – the founder of Bethune Cookman University and Florida A&M Universitys first President, respectively. Their timeless stories have given me the inspiration and vigor to seek and provide a culturally affirming space of excellence for our youngest scholars to thrive and gain an appreciation for the sacrifices made on their behalf.” 

The original school, Nap Ford Community School, opened in August 2001 and was located in the Parramore community where it moved in order to give rise to the expansion of UCF and the Creative Village Project. The school relocated to Washington Shores in 2017, consolidating with its second charter school Legends Academy, at Hope Center West in temporary portables. Over the last several years, it has been on an upward trend to exceed capacity while providing positive generational community impact. 

Building upon the more than 50 years of the rich heritage of Frontline Outreach.  This multi-million dollar investment includes the acquisition and renovation of the Frontline Outreach building and the additional construction of more than 20,000 square feet of state-of-the-art learning spaces that’s sure to be a landmark on John Young Parkway. 

Archbishop Allen Wiggins , Founder of Hope Center West and Chair of Frontline Outreach, has been a champion of Nap Ford for many years and  is now thrilled to be a pivotal actor  in the culmination of Nap Ford’s long and arduous trek as they finally find a place which they can call home.  “Frontline Outreach is a staple in the Washington Shores community committed to serving and preparing children for the global stage.  Even from its humble beginnings the vision of Frontline Outreach was to be a source for world class education and training.  Today we are thrilled that the Nap Ford organization are the new custodians of this facility that has served so many over the years and now is positioned to serve even more.  The Frontline organization will complement the academic offerings of the school and continue its service to the community.” 

The Nap Ford organization is excited about presenting a cadre of non-profit organizations and educational partners that will reinforce the advancement and the empowerment of children and families through academics, athletics, the arts and career development.  

Ms. Rebecca Ford is thrilled about the project. “We will finally have a permanent residence sitting in the heart of the community where my husband lived and served. His children and grandchildren are very aware of his passion and belief in equitable educational opportunities for all children.  I know he would be beyond proud to see this journey and dream realized. My family is overjoyed that our future generations can look at this edifice, knowing that the work and continued efforts for the education of all children are more than just slogans and words. This is a dream and a journey put into action and realized.” 

Nap Ford Community School, Inc.s  - Legends Academy is a STEM focused public charter school serving 350 children in KG – 8th grade; now with room to accommodate the growing educational needs of the times. 

For additional information please contact Dr. Jennifer Porter-Smith jportersmith@napford.org or call 407-245-8711