In the 1980s, New Orleans native Dr. George J. McKenna III famously transformed Los Angeles’ gang-riddled George Washington Prep High School into a successful college prep school. Today, the school’s mission is to “ensure that each student, upon graduation, will possess the academic and social skills needed to think critically, function in a diverse society and participate as informed responsible citizens prepared for leadership in their community, the world and all areas of life.”
NORDC will host a free film screening of the compelling “George McKenna Story,” starring Denzel Washington as the inspirational educator who gave his students hope, success and pride, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, at the Treme Rec Center, 900 N. Villere St. Following the film, George’s brother, Dr. Dwight McKenna, founder of the George and Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art in New Orleans, will speak. A champion of the African-American community and young people, Dr. Dwight McKenna is a local surgeon who also has a strong interest in literacy and cultural preservation.
FREE FITNESS EVENT AND HEALTH SCREENING: Health in the Black Community from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at Cut-Off Rec Center, 6600 Belgrade St. features free fitness activities and health screenings. Activities include kemetic yoga from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; meditation and lecture with Zachary Ramsey from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.; diabetes blood pressure screenings from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and afro exercise from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Plus, learn about Black Girls Run, a national running group created to combat obesity among women in the African-American community.
Victor N. Richard III is the chief executive officer of the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission. For more information, visit nola.gov/nordc.
- NATURE WALK: noon, Tuesday, Feb. 10, Couturie Forest in City Park, 1009 Harrison Ave. Meet at the trailhead for Couturie or take complimentary shuttle from Gernon Brown Rec Center, 1001 Harrison Ave., departing at 11:50 a.m.
- YOUNG BIRDERS ASSOCIATION: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Feb. 14. Teen bird watching club in partnership with the Orleans Audubon Society. Meet at the Joe Madere Marsh Unit at the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge, off U.S. 90 in New Orleans East. Meet just past the main entrance on the right or take the complimentary shuttle from Joe W. Brown Rec Center, 5601 Read Blvd., departing at 9:10 a.m.
- NATURE WALK: noon, Feb. 24, Jean Lafitte National Park Coquille Trail. Meet at the trailhead in the parking lot, found by following Barataria Boulevard all the way into the park or take the complimentary shuttle from Behrman Rec Center, 2529 Gen. Meyer Ave., departing at 11:30 a.m.
- SWIM LESSONS AND CLASS REGISTRATION: Now through Feb. 14 for ages 6 months and older. The Spring 1 session begins Feb. 15. Classes including water babies, swim lessons, aqua fitness and lifeguard classes.
- NORDC LIFEGUARD PREREQUISITE SKILLS CHALLENGE CLASS: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9; and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 2, 16 and 30, and April 13 and 27, Joe W. Brown Pool, 5601 Read Blvd. For people ages 15 and older who are interested in becoming a lifeguard. Preregistration is suggested. Free. For details, visit www.nola.gov/nordc or call (504) 658-3021.
- TRACK AND FIELD REGISTRATION: Now through Feb. 16 for boys and girls ages 5-14. The season begins March 21. For playground locations and registration details, visit nola.gov/nordc.
- SENIOR DANCE FITNESS AND ADULT MOVEMENT CLASSES: NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance offers free classes at NORDC Recreation Centers. Register anytime.
- SENIOR CHOIR PRACTICE: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Joe W. Brown Rec Center, 5601 Read Blvd. Join anytime.
- CASA SAMBA CLASSES: Lyons Rec Center, 624 Louisiana Ave. and Treme Center, 900 N. Villere St. For all ages. Register anytime.
- FITNESS CLASSES: Fit NOLA Parks offers weekly fitness at Taylor Park, 2600 S. Roman St.; Norwood Thompson Park, 7200 Forshey St.; and St. Roch Park, 1800 St. Roch Ave.
- ADULT EXERCISE: For ages 18 and older, including cardio and core strengthening exercises. Free classes held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday at Treme Rec Center, 900 N. Villere St.; from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monday and Wednesday at Lyons Rec Center, 624 Louisiana Ave.; 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday and Wednesday at Behrman Rec Center, 2529 General Meyer Ave.; and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at Joe W. Brown Rec Center, 5601 Read Blvd.
- LINE DANCING: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Cut-Off Rec Center, 6600 Belgrade St.
- KEMETIC YOGA: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Treme Rec Center, 900 N. Villere St.
FREE AFTER-SCHOOL MEALS
- KIDS CAFÉ: Kids Café provides free after-school meals at several recreation centers and playgrounds in partnership with Share Our Strength. Sites are Comiskey Playground, 600 S. Jeff Davis Parkway; Cut-Off Recreation Center, 6600 Belgrade St.; Treme Recreation Center, 900 N. Villere St.; Joe W. Brown Recreation Center, 5601 Read Blvd.; Lyons Recreation Center, 624 Louisiana Ave. ; Stallings Gentilly Playground, 2700 Laperyouse St.; and Taylor Playground, 2600 S. Roman St.