Promise Zone Blog
March 5, 2018 | Amanda Hallock
Surveyors: Sherra Dunn, Jeffrey Jordan, Rita Nelson, Kevin D. Young, Hyden Terrell Project Manager: Kelly Traister
The Promise Neighborhood grant is well underway! The grant is $30 million over 5 years and the Department of Education requires Drexel University, the lead applicant, to have rigorous data collection and evaluation. One of the components of this is a biennial neighborhood survey.
To conduct the survey, Drexel has prioritized hiring Promise Zone residents (the Zone and Neighborhood share the same boundaries) and in doing so has seemed to have more success in survey collection. The Promise Zone resident surveyors know their neighborhood culture and have the important ability to gain trust more easily than a non-resident would. And don’t forget about their fantastic orange jackets! Besides being residents and dressed in orange, the surveyors are just all around fantastic. They have great energies and are passionate about the project. I discovered this and so much more when I sat down to talk with five of the surveyors in February. MORE
The Promise Corps CCA Supervisor is responsible for program planning and implementation at two high schools in West Philadelphia. They provide day-to-day leadership of their schools’ AmeriCorps members (CCA’s) and programs.
A five-year, $30 million grant will support local initiatives to:
- Expand early literacy and early science efforts in local child care and pre-K programs;
- Enhance K-12 instruction in these seven schools;
- Empower parents to advocate for their children’s learning; and
- Improve access to education and job training for young adults and all residents in the Promise Neighborhood.
The 10th Annual Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival will be hosted by People’s Emergency Center (PEC) on Saturday, July 16th from noon to 7pm in Penn Presbyterian Saunders Park Greene, at 39th and Powelton Avenue. This year’s festival will showcase the female artists who have shaped jazz and are solidifying its future. Pianist and composer Sumi Tonooka will headline the event, which is free and open to the public. The free Lancaster Avenue Jazz & Arts Festival will offer activities for the whole family: a mix of exemplary musicians, a diverse gathering of people, a view of the city and a chance to enjoy a neighborhood that is rich in arts and culture. The event has grown over its 10 years from having a few hundred attendees to more than 3,000. Read the People’s Emergency Center’s press release for more information.
Think Tank 2016 was an event hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity in which students worked in teams to create a presentation about one problem they wish to solve in West Philadelphia—and how. MORE
Reed’s Coffee & Tea House opened four years ago at the corner of Lancaster and 38th. Trolleys roll by every ten minutes, but people come in on foot throughout the day. From what we’ve seen, customers come looking for anything, taste something delicious, and then look to try more. MORE
Over the last 6 months the Promise Zone Small & Emerging Business Working Group has piloted a lending and technical assistance (TA) program targeting business and property owners on Lancaster Avenue and 52nd Street. This has involved close collaboration with many partners, including Community Development Financial Institutions (which provides loans to small businesses), Commercial Corridor Managers, and the Philadelphia Department of Commerce.
AmeriCorps: Promise Corps College and Career Ambassadors
Promise Corps College and Career Ambassadors (CCAs) will be placed in one of four high schools in Philadelphia’s Promise Zone. The high schools are West Philadelphia, Overbrook, High School of the Future, and Parkway West.CCAs will work with high school students and families to ensure that they graduate from high school with strong skill sets, and develop awareness of paths and challenges related to postsecondary opportunities, while working with students to help them develop long-term plans leading to postsecondary entry. CCAs will work with school teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors to identify and recruit students who need additional support. MORE
Lucia Esther and Chuck Bode began their RCO with just two or three people attending. Now, one hundred and twenty five people are members of the RCO and up to forty people regularly attend the monthly meetings. Lucia is involved in her community in other ways; she currently sits on the advisory committee for the police station, the 30th Street Planning group, and the University City high school site, to name a few.
According to a recent study published by the Journal of Community Health, 70% of children in urban areas reported experiencing crimes: repeated exposure to violence in a community can disrupt residents’ lives, and pose major challenges to community well-being. MORE