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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

 

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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.

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PNLV Blog

PNLV to once again support McKinley’s Odyssey of the Mind team

McKinley's Odyssey of the Mind team 2013Next Monday, October 21, begins the McKinley Elementary School team Odyssey of the Mind practices for the 2013-2014 competition.

Dawn Robinson-Weldon of PNLV will be coaching the McKinley Elementary team for the second year in a row.  For those who aren’t familiar with OOTM it is “an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.

Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solutions to competition on the local, state, and World level. Thousands of teams from throughout the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.”

The McKinley Elementary team will be beginning their third year of competing.  The last two years the team has been able to compete at the regional level, and this year will strive to compete at the state and national levels, as well.

Please support Allentown schools participating in Odyssey of the Mind by volunteering. For more information, visit http://www.paodyssey.com/.

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PNLV Blog

Volunteers needed for new after-school program in APN

We’re looking for a few good volunteers to help us with a new after-school program starting in October. Can you help us?

 

STEAM+ flyer

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PNLV Blog

Promise Neighborhoods, Allentown School District, and Crayola partner to get kids ready for Kindergarten

Kindergarten Readiness ToolkitIt’s time for families in Allentown Promise Neighborhood to sign their children up for Kindergarten at Cleveland, Central, or McKinley Elementary School.  This year, hundreds of Promise Neighborhood parents walked away from  Allentown School District’s annual Kindergarten sign-up ritual with a backpack full of learning materials from Crayola, and a guide that provides month-by-month summer activities that will help them get their child ready for school in the fall.

The Kindergarten Readiness Team at Allentown School District provided Promise Neighborhoods with a list of household items every parent can use to support their child’s learning during the summer months.

Crayola provided crayons, sidewalk chalk, Play Dough, and other learning aids along with 250 of its Art Buddy Backpacks to hold the materials.  Promise Neighborhoods hosted assembly teams made up of Allentown School District outreach staff and parent liaisons, as well as volunteers from Community Services for Children to put each Toolkit together and will ensure the “Kindergarten Readiness Toolkits” are in the homes of every incoming Kindergartner living in Allentown Promise Neighborhood.

Allentown Promise Neighborhood’s Early Learning Network works tirelessly to raise awareness of the importance of high quality early education and Kindergarten Readiness within the neighborhood.  Their efforts, like the Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit distribution, have caused people to take notice and ask how they can help young people in their neighborhoods.  Other Allentown elementary schools, including Washington and Dodd, are exploring how they can replicate the Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit distribution for children coming to their schools next fall.

Want to build your own Kindergarten Readiness Toolkit?  Contact us to learn how.