Engelwood Kidz Zone

Over the past 10 years, the City of Orlando has incrementally increased its investments in Engelwood’s children, creating a pipeline of evidence-based programs for the neighborhood’s children from Kindergarten through 12th grade. These investments include a 21st Century Community Learning Center at the Engelwood Neighborhood Center and Roberto Clemente Middle School, an Operation AmeriCorps program at Colonial High School; and philanthropic funds, via Orlando After-School All-Stars, for Opportunity Jobs Academy at Colonial High School. 

With the 2020 announcement that the City will replicate PKZ in Engelwood, we have begun to enhance and expand the existing K-12 pipeline so that it also includes programs for children from birth to age 5, post-secondary programs for those who have graduated from high school, and investments in young adults to help them become economically self-sustaining adults.

Investments in Engelwood aim to:

  • Increase the number of young children attending high quality preschool programs
  • Build positive parenting skills
  • Mitigate family economic instability
  • Enhance children’s physical health and wellness
  • Support academic success among elementary, middle and high school children
  • Increase the number of youth entering – and completing – post-secondary education
  • Keep older youth out of trouble and on a positive track toward social and economic success.

Engelwood Kidz Zone Map

City of Orlando Student Advocates, based at elementary, middle and high schools attended by Engelwood students, offer mentorship, academic support (test prep, advisement, etc.), advocacy, regular meetings, scholarships, college tours, educational, cultural and regional field trips, monitoring of attendance and grades, and support to ensure students stay on track for graduation.

Post-Secondary Advocates offer assistance with college applications and essays, assistance with scholarship applications and essays, FAFSA assistance, financial literacy training and support, academic advisement, dorm set-up, help for families of first-generation college students in understanding how things work, and all the support Engelwood youth need to enroll in college and persist through graduation.

The City of Orlando’s Recreation Division offers competitive sports programs for elementary and middle school-aged children in Engelwood.

An extensive garden at the Engelwood Neighborhood Center provides children with an outdoor classroom. Not only do participants benefit from spending time outdoors, especially in natural places, but it broadens the taste pallets of all participants by exposing them to new foods and encouraging healthy living. Students learn how to grow their own plants and foods which can help them lead a sustainable lifestyle, with hopes that they will pass it along to their community. The children can practice their math, reading, science and writing skills in a fun project-based learning environment, while also learning the importance of recycling, composting, gardening, and healthy eating. The children also develop a sense of ownership and pride because they are directly making a difference in this garden and getting to watch it grow. 

The City of Orlando’s Engelwood Neighborhood Center offers high-quality after-school programs for elementary and middle schools students that combine fun and learning. Students can participate in supervised recreational activities, homework assistance and enrichment activities.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) initiative is a key component of the “No Child Left Behind” Act. It is an opportunity for students to enhance and reinforce academic lessons of the regular school day, while also allowing them to learn new skills and discover new opportunities after the regular school day has ended. The focus of this program, re-authorized under Title IV, Part B, of the No Child Left Behind Act, is to provide expanded academic enrichment opportunities for children attending low performing schools. Tutorial services and academic enrichment activities are designed to help students meet local and state academic standards in subjects such as reading and math.

After-School All-Stars provides a uniquely creative and effective after-school experience at Roberto Clemente Middle School. By teaming up with principal and faculty at each site, staff identify each student’s specific needs and tailor programming to supplement the existing efforts at school.

  • Academic sessions featuring reading, math/science and life skills enrichment activities
  • Enrichment sessions feature intramural sports and club activities such as art, dance, etc.
  • Baseball, soccer, kickball and volleyball athletic activities

The Orlando Community & Youth Trust offers a Youth Employment program to Engelwood youth, include job training, soft skills training, job placement and monitoring, internships, apprenticeships, help with resumes and interview skills training.

  • Youth Employment (Ages 15-25): Three weeks learning financial literacy and obtaining soft skills necessary to land and keep a job before placement in a neighborhood business.
  • Student Advocates (Ages 5-25): Provide academic support, help maintain positive student/teacher relationships, connect families to services such as tutoring, food supplies and emergency economic assistance or other wrap around services.
  • Educational Support (Ages KG-8th): Certified Teachers providing enrichment opportunities to youth attending the Engelwood Elementary and Roberto Clemente Middle School.
  • Early Education (Ages 0-5): Referral program to provide families of small children with high quality childcare and educational opportunities.
  • Mentoring (Ages 5-18): An initiative that aims to improve grades and school attendance, increase employment, and reduce arrests among girls and boys.


Operation AmeriCorps and OPASS are part of the largest branch of AmeriCorps. Through grants, members are recruited, trained and placed in critical needs middle and high schools to engage in direct service activities such as academic tutoring, mentoring, developing academic plans, and community engagement. All members are eligible for an education award that can be utilized for college tuition or student loan payments. During their term of service, members receive a living allowance, health benefits, child care and food assistance.

The Orlando Community & Youth Trust offers emergency economic assistance to residents of Engelwood Kidz Zone to prevent eviction, utility shut-offs and hunger.