Helpful Howard

Dwight Howard has been named the January Ace Hardware "Helpful Player of the Month" for his willingness to give back to the Parramore community in Orlando.

Howard helped the new Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ) Teen Shack become a reality with a $25,000 donation to this project as part of winning the 2007-2008 DeVos Community Enrichment Award. A team of 15 PKZ teens collaborated on the design, features and even rules of conduct for the Teen Shack, a space that once served as the Orlando Magic's training locker room. The resulting space will allow the youth to spend their time after school developing photographs in the photography lab, utilizing state-of-the-art laptops or simply hanging out with their peers playing videogames or watching movies. Modeled after the Harlem Children's Zone, the Parramore Kidz Zone, launched by Mayor Buddy Dyer in 2006, employs a creative outreach to engage a critical mass of Parramore's children by linking them to positive opportunities, including pre-kindergarten education, parenting education, health care, mentoring tutoring and constructive activities when school is out.