Talk w/PRK is a program of Johnson County Parks and Recreation at Gardner Elementary which brings together community leaders and kids to discuss community affairs. Recent student interviews included “Watch Us Grow” and “A Class That Cares.” Submitted photos


Talk w/PRK is a program of Johnson County Parks and Recreation at Gardner Elementary which brings together community leaders and kids to discuss community affairs.
Participating students conduct interviews and then write a story. Below are two student interviews and a photo.

“A Class That Cares”
An interview was conducted by Derrick Adler.
“People don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I never met Noah Wilson. My name is Derrick Adler. I am a fifth grader at Wheatridge Elementary. When the final bell sounds each day, I take a short walk over to Gardner Elementary, and to the JCPRD after school class held there. This was where I first heard about Noah. Over the summer, one of the teachers, Mark Hinojosa, had participated in a citywide Serve Day through his church, and had worked at Prairie Center Elementary in Olathe helping plant flowers and shrubs. That’s where he heard about Noah who had been a student there but had passed away from cancer. He walked through Noah’s memorial that sits right beside the school. “There’s a sign at the entrance of the memorial that reads “Love God, Love others,” Mr. Mark said. That was Noah’s catch phrase. Through hearing and reading about him, and putting together this article I feel like I know who Noah was, what he believed in, and how he chose to live out his life.
As a class the question became how can we help kids fighting various forms of cancer? How can we honor Noah’s memory? Noah had another saying. He used to say, “a bandage is a badge of courage.” Noah wanted to give other kids battling cancer band-aids (badges) that were brightly colored, and in some small way made them smile. So, began Noah’s Bandage Project. As a class we began collecting boxes of colorful and character band-aids. Like Noah, we too wanted to bring joy to hurting kids. We are also donating three glass art pieces made by a friend of Mr. Mark’s that will actually be placed along his memorial walk. Noah’s dad Scott is coming to our school at the end of this month to pick up what we’ve collected as well as the artwork. I hope he sees a bit of his son in us. I hope he sees a class that cares.
Derrick Adler out.
“Watch Us Grow”
An interview was recently conducted by class reporter Knox McIver.
September guests: LaToya Rozof and Josh Payton with Amazon
Class Reporter: Knox McIver
Photographer: Kruz McIver (his sister)
Also present were Knox’s and Kruz’s mom who works for Amazon.
Can you tell us about yourselves, what you do for Amazon, and how Amazon impacts the community?
“My name is Latoya Rozof. I am a Senior HR Business Partner with Amazon. In my role, I partner with managers to ensure they are promoting positive associate relations within their departments and help with any HR (people needs) as they occur. My job includes being responsible for performance management, employee relations, compensation, career development, and leadership development. Our site impacts the community by offering jobs for over 400 people. We help supply items to a local women’s shelter. We support the Veteran’s Tiny Transitional Housing Project. We support the Kansas School of the Blind and Deaf. We donate pet food to local animal shelters and organizations. We help facilitate resume and interviewing best practices for the Women’s Employment Network. We provide diapers for the Happy Bottoms organization, and now we’re connected with JCPRD at Gardner Elementary.”
So, how many centers are there?
There are 175 fulfillment centers worldwide.
What about you Josh?
“My name is Josh Payton. I am a Senior Ops Manager for the outbound (think packages going out of the building) department. My department handles the process of packaging and shipping orders to customers. My role is to provide strategy and direction to my department. I am responsible for overall safety, quality, performance, and customer experience of Outbound operations.”
Any advice you’d like to offer?
“Our advice is to continue to make great grades, be confident in your skills. Be involved in sports and extracurricular activities and listen to your parents,” LaToya said. “Continue to watch us grow,” she added.