Categories
PNLV Blog

EPN & Paxinosa School to launch West Ward Collective Impact Team

Earlier this year EPN released the results of its 2015 Neighborhood Survey of West Ward residents in Easton. That report acted as a springboard for its nonprofit community partners, school district representatives, business leaders, funders, government officials and residents to work together on addressing the many issues that families living in that community (Census tract 142) are dealing with.

Paxinosa Elementary School Community School Director Ashley Sciora met with EPN Manager Ammar Sharif to begin the conversation on how to help solve those issues.

Now a new initiative called the West Ward Collective Impact Team is being formed. Community leaders, decision makers, and key influencers in Easton have been invited to attend quarterly meetings to discuss the four key areas that have already been identified:

  • Early Learning
  • Housing/Safety
  • K-16 Education
  • Health

The first Collective Impact Team meeting will take place later this spring; date, time and location are still to be determined. After reviewing the results of the EPN report data, the group will decide what to work on first. Attending partner agencies are invited to bring their own data long to the meeting to share with the group.

Sub-groups will be created for the four focus areas so that each can tackle specific tasks. After this initial meeting a schedule for subsequent quarterly meetings will be developed.

Community members and residents are also invited and encouraged to attend. Anyone interested in joining us should contact Ammar Sharif at  610.438.4327 or ammars@nullpromiseneighborhoodslv.org.

 

 

WWCIT Structure

 

Categories
PNLV Blog

Get to know the PNLV Staff: Amanda Raudenbush, Allentown Promise Neighborhood Manager

Amanda head shot1. How long have you been with PNLV as the APN manager, and what brought you to this role?

I have been with PNLV as the APN manager since July 2014. I was drawn to this role since it combines two of my passions: urban planning and education. I have over 10 years of experience as an urban planner as well as a number of years as an educator at an urban high school. I recognize that the advancement of cities and residents comes from a multitude of issues being addressed simultaneously. Working at PNLV allows me the opportunity to be involved with many different issues at once and view progress holistically.

2. What is the single most important thing you have learned about the residents of downtown Allentown so far?

The residents of downtown Allentown are a fun bunch! They love to have fun at our Block Party and at our monthly resident dinners. I appreciate the patience they have shown with me when trying to teach me the finer points of a game of dominoes. I will win one day!

3. What do you think the results of last summer’s APN Neighborhood Survey have to teach us about the residents of downtown Allentown and how APN can best help them?

Through our survey, I learned that many of the assumptions that are commonly held regarding our residents are simply not true. I am proud of the work we have done to gain the trust of the residents and that they allow us, through the survey, to act as their voice at the table. I believe that true change happens when those receiving assistance are able to have a voice in what interventions are needed and what they should look like, rather than a top down approach.

Categories
PNLV Blog

Meet Community School Directors Amy and Ari of McKinley Elementary

  1. What sets your Community School apart from the others in the APN?

We are a small but happy school—we are a close-knit family, and we really value the friendships and relationships that are made here at McKinley. Thanks to the help of our wonderful partner, Rodale, we also have a beautiful community garden (and the only community school to have a garden!) This garden is  unique because all the classes really were a fundamental part of building and creating this dream.

  1. What is your school’s #1 goal for the current school year?

We have many goals and things to focus on, but our primary goal would definitely be to improve our families’ access to health services.

  1. How has your Community School’s partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Allentown helped your students?

Boys & Girls Club has always played such a huge role in supporting our school—whether it was through providing Backpack Buddies to 15 of our families, or helping assist families with Christmas gifts during the holidays, we really have benefited from having BGCA as our lead partner. This year, especially, we have come to depend on the Turner Street Girls Club a lot more because so many of our students are now participating in their after school programs, which are offered 5 days a week and are great learning supports for the students.

  1. What type of educational support do students as your school need the most?

I would definitely say that many of our students do need that 1:1 attention; whether it is homework help, or just receiving assistance with improving their reading/writing or math skills, our students need that positive attention and guidance, especially since many of their parents may be working and so they aren’t getting a lot of these very necessary educational supports at home.

  1. What made you want to be a Community School Director in Allentown?

CSD - AmyAmy Jahn de Torrez was working at Christ Lutheran Church and assisting with community outreach, when she soon found herself working with many of the McKinley families. She soon realized that she loved being in a school setting, and so much of her work at CLC was so interconnected with the role of a Community School Director, that moving over to McKinley was such a natural fit. Because of Amy’s relationship with CLC, the partnership of McKinley and CLC has only blossomed every year since. Amy loves to be able to help support and strengthen families through her role as a CSD, and truly has a gift for what she does.

Ari Kantrow—After serving all of last year as an Americorps VISTA member in two of Allentown’s community schools CSD - Aariel(Roosevelt and SMMS), I realized that working in a community school is truly a unique experience, and I really loved being able to develop such strong relationships with the families and support them and help their students succeed. After Amy decided to pursue student teaching for a few months and the opportunity to fill in as a CSD at McKinley arose and I began to meet the incredible staff and families of McKinley, I realized that there was no other place that I would rather be.

Categories
PNLV Blog

PROMISE NEIGHBORHOODS OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY TO HOLD FOUR PUBLIC MEETINGS IN EASTON

PrintA successful non-profit community organization based in downtown Allentown is planning to bring its program to Easton and wants the public’s input on where it should be located within the city. To get that feedback it will be holding a series of four public meetings later this month.

The regional Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley established its first neighborhood in the Old Allentown Historic District in the city’s downtown seven years ago. The success of Allentown Promise Neighborhood has lead the organization to expand its model to the valley’s other two cities in the coming years.

Easton Promise Neighborhood Manager Ammar Sharif has compiled data about residents in the city’s four neighborhoods. This data will be presented to the public at four public Town Hall meetings, one in each neighborhood, to include the citizens of Easton in the discussion that will help determine the best place to create an Easton Promise Neighborhood.

Meetings will take place at:

Easton Area Community Center
901 Washington Street
September 16 from 7-8:30 pm

YMCA of Easton, Phillipsburg and Vicinity
1225 W. Lafayette St.
September 22 from 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Cheston Elementary School
723 Coal Street
September 24 from 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Nurture Nature Center
516 Northampton Street
September 27 from 11 am – 12:30 pm

Light food and beverages will be provided to attendees, and giveaway items will also be handed out.

Inspired by the Harlem Children’s Zone, the U.S. Department of Education’s federal Promise Neighborhoods program is an initiative designed to break the cycle of generational poverty by wrapping children in a pipeline of health, social, and educational supports from birth through college. It utilizes efforts to mobilize residents, community partners, educational institutions, and business leaders to ensure the success of children from birth to career so they will thrive, succeed in school and become vital members in the community.

About Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley
Founded in 2007, Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley unites residents and leaders from various sectors to ensure the success of children from birth through career. Promise Neighborhoods, a subsidiary of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, accomplishes its work through place-based, collective impact efforts, like Allentown Promise Neighborhood. Its office is located at 347 N. 8th Street in Downtown Allentown. For more information, visit www.PromiseNeighborhoodsLV.org.

 

 

 

 

Categories
PNLV Blog

Easton Promise Neighborhood Town Hall Meetings

Ammar Sharif on our staff has been hard at work compiling data regarding residents in the four neighborhoods of the City of Easton.

This data will be presented to the public at a number of public Town Hall meetings to include the citizens of Easton in the discussion that will help determine the best place to create an Easton Promise Neighborhood.

These Town Hall meetings will be held this fall, so keep your eyes peeled for dates and get involved!

Print

Categories
PNLV Blog

Meet our Resident Liaison, Miguel

Miguel1. How long have you lived in the APN? What do you like most about living here? I don’t live in the APN area, but in working for APN I’m getting to know the community and I like how APN is helping the people that live in this neighborhood.

2. What made you want to get more involved in your neighborhood? I would like to see the neighborhood get better. No more crime or drugs being sold.

3. Why do you feel that you are a good candidate to represent APN? I’m a people person and self-motivated.

4. What are you most looking forward to in your role as a member of the APN Community Engagement Team? Getting to know the different people that live in the community and doing what they need.

5. What do you think of APN and what it does for our community? I feel APN brings hope to the community.

Categories
PNLV Blog

Kindergarten Registration with ASD

Attending kindergarten is an important step in a child’s educational development. In the Allentown Promise Neighborhood we want to make sure that families have all the tools they need to provide and obtain quality education for their children.
Did you know in the state of Pennsylvania, families are not legally required to send their children to kindergarten? Here in the APN, only roughly 1/3 of children have a quality pre-school experience, which means there are children right here in our community that do not receive a quality pre-school experience, or attend kindergarten. This means that some children’s very first educational experience is 1st grade, where they start out performing below normal achievement levels. We want to make sure all children start out on the right foot, and get the most out of pre-school and kindergarten experiences.If you live in the Allentown Promise Neighborhood, and have not yet registered your child for kindergarten, please visit http://www.allentownsd.org/domain/1860 or call 484-765-4000. See the below kindergarten registration forms.
If you have a pre-school aged child that lives in the APN, please consider enrolling them in our Little School/Escuelita Home Visitation Program.  This program provides up to 12 visits of quality early learning lessons for your child, taught right in the home. For more information, please contact Cassondra Lander  610-437-6000 ext 2170, or email clander@nullcscinc.org.

 

K-Reg Sign up Form Spanish 2014 K-Reg  Sign up Form English 2014

Categories
PNLV Blog

Mental Health Awareness Month

We invite you to join us this Thursday 5/22 from 5-6 p.m. for a program on mental health stigma.

Find out how you can help and support someone you love who is living with mental health issues.

Mental health Awareness back of flyer pdf Mental health Awareness front of flyer pdf

Categories
PNLV Blog

McKinley Elementary School Odyssey of the Mind team attends regional competition

The McKinley Elementary School Odyssey of the Mind team competed at the PA Regional competition on March 15 at Deiruff High School in Allentown. This competition hosted elementary, middle, and high schools from all over southeast Pennsylvania.  This team of gifted 4th and 5th grade students gave an energetic and brave performance, along with hundreds of other students, and was coached by Jennifer Shaver of McKinley Elementary and Dawn Robinson-Weldon of APN.

Odyssey of the Mind is a national competition that takes place every year, and is open to not just schools, but community organizations, churches, or anyone looking for form a team of children kindergarten through high school age. For more information on how to participate in Odyssey of the Mind, click here: http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/

ootm2014 ootm2014-3 ootm2014-2

Categories
PNLV Blog

Raub Middle School Student Assistance Team Celebration

We were happy to help Raub Middle School celebrate the achievements of their student assistants at last week’s Raub Middle School Student Assistance Team Celebration night.

Congratulations to Raub students for their committed support to teachers and faculty!

Raub Middle School SAP