Promise Neighborhood March 2020 Newsletter
Who Are We?
The West Philadelphia P romise Neighborhood is a U.S. Department of Education funded grant to support "cradle-to-career" opportunities for children living or going to school in Belmont, East Parkside, Mantua, Mill Creek, Powelton Village, and West Powelton / Saunders Park. The program seeks to improve education, health, and economic success for children, their families and the community.
Spotlight on STEP:
Clinical Social Work Coordinator
Promise Neighborhood STEP Clinical Coordinators (left to right): Rachel Hurley-Martha Washington, Janice Jenkins-Morton McMichael, Shardae Wescott-Alain Locke, Djuan Short-West Philadelphia High School, Lisa Coleman-Powel, Emma Bergman-SLAMS
Introduced in February’s Promise Neighborhood Newsletter, the STEP team, consisting of a  Clinical Social Work Coordinator,  a  School Behavioral Consultant , a  Case Manager , and a  Family Peer , works alongside students, staff, and families at the school to identify the needs of students, determine what may be inhibiting students’ learning, and find ways to help them succeed.  
This month, we spotlight the role of the  Clinical Social Work Coordinator , a position wholly funded by the Promise Neighborhood in six schools. The Coordinator’s role is to lead and supervise the team, provide individual, group, and family therapy, and participate in leadership meetings at the school level. Because of the Coordinator’s involvement at both the school and individual level, they are able to be more thoughtful in using each team member’s unique skill set and expertise to best help a child. 

Once a student referral is submitted from a guardian, school staff member, or observation from a STEP team member, the Coordinator initiates information gathering with the entire team and others in contact with the student, to gain full understanding of the student from various perspectives. They then lead the team in discussion and together, they make a decision on what kind of support is beneficial for the student and the entire family. 

Alain Locke’s Coordinator, Shardae Wescott, emphasizes the importance of working as a unit. “Working as a team of four gives us a chance to address multiple needs collectively, and I enjoy this because it gives the families and students an opportunity to experience what it’s like to receive support from a committed group of people. We have been told that we make students and families feel "heard" and "valued" because of our compassion and dedication to this work.” 
By participating in leadership meetings at the school level, the Coordinators are able to provide input and ideas to address school-wide challenges as well. One such example was family engagement around Back to School Night at Morton McMichael.  Because Coordinator Janice Jenkins had taken part in the leadership meetings at the school, she recognized the need and importance of increasing parent /guardian attendance and engagement on this night. She recommended elevating the night by bringing in vendors and community partners to distribute resources. The STEP team worked to advertise the night and coordinated the logistics and partners. Parents were able to visit the school, get to know the vendors/resource tables, meet with the STEP team, and meet their child’s teacher. McMichael had their highest turnout to date. 
“Being a part of the leadership team at the school level is an awesome opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of academic and school-based planning, so that our work is even more informed,” states Lisa Coleman, Coordinator at Powel. “We are also able to offer perspectives the administrative team may have not fully considered. This allows for even more effective planning in a comprehensive and preventative manner. In the role of a conduit or consultant, Coordinators can support school leadership in implementing trauma-informed practices, giving consideration to external dynamics that influence a student’s needs inside the building.”
The work of the STEP team, led by the Clinical Social Work Coordinator, is steeped in the mission of the Promise Neighborhood. By addressing the challenges that are interfering with student’s academic achievements at multiple levels (individual, family, and school), they give students the tools and resources to thrive as they transition to high school, college and careers. 
Promise Neighborhood Data Corne r
According to the annual Action for Early Learning Family Survey:

Only 61% of caregivers know that they need
to register their children for Kindergarten by May 31 st

( Action for Early Learning Annual Family Survey (2019)

Kindergarten registration is now OPEN and you can do it ONLINE if your child is 5 on or before September 1st.
You can register on your phone or one of the neighborhood KEYSPOTS!
Kindergarten Registration Tip:

Gather these 5 items in order to register :
  • child's proof of age
  • current immunization record
  • parent/legal guardian identification
  • proof of address (2 forms)
  • homeless youth are entitled to enrollment and families are not required to prove residency regarding school enrollment
Jeffrey's Journeys
On Friday, February 7th, Jeffrey spent the afternoon with Drexel University Basketball captains, Cam Wynter and James Butler, at Powel Elementary. Third and Fourth grade students had over 97% attendance rate in the month of January, so they were treated to a surprise visit with the players and 2 tickets to the game the following day. The students engaged in a question and answer session focusing on teamwork, dedication, and working hard in school at a young age.
Promise Neighborhood And Drexel Athletics
Promise Neighborhood partnered with Drexel Athletics to provide an experience for students and families in Promise neighborhood schools to attend a men's basketball game. Promise Neighborhood students enjoyed the Drexel Dragons take on Towson on February 8th and Northeastern on February 22nd. Students were treated to two tickets to the basketball game, a snack, and Promise Neighborhood orange shirt and swag bag. We love bringing the community and schools together for a fun Saturday afternoon in the Promise Neighborhood! Thank you to Drexel Athletics for an experience for the children.
Updates from Promise Neighborhood Partners
Temple University is delighted to share that Action for Early Learning (AFEL) will participate in the Diversifying Early Education Leadership (DEEL) project, a two-year fellowship funded by the William Penn Foundation to support mid-career ECE professionals of color. AFEL is one of approximately 10 programs to be selected as a project site, hosting a Fellow for an internship that helps to build their leadership skills and knowledge of the field. The DEEL team is very grateful to AFEL offering their expertise to their Fellows and look forward to this collaboration.
What's happening this spring at the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships?
Please join us on  Saturday, April 4, 2020 from 11am to 2pm  for our 
5 th  Annual Spring Garden Egg Hunt
at the Dornsife Center - 3509 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. There will be arts & craft activities, refreshments, music, giveaways, health info and screenings, and egg hunts for ages 6 months to 12 years old.
The event is FREE and open to everyone. RAIN OR SHINE! For more information, please call (215) 571-4013 or email

Brought to you by a partnership between Mantua Community Improvement Committee (MCIC), Drexel’s Dornsife Center, Mantua Civic Association (MCA), Rosebridge Arts, West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning (AFEL), Drexel’s Community Wellness HUB , West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhood, and 16th District Philadelphia Police Department.
Playworks Jamboree
The Girls' Basketball Jamboree is an annual Playworks  event that kicks off the Girls' Basketball season for many schools across Philadelphia. The team at Alain Locke, comprised of 4th and 5th grade girls, many of whom have never played basketball before attended the event on February 1st. The league is a developmental league which aims to effectively teach basketball fundamentals, promote teamwork, and build confidence in the athletes. The Jamboree leads into League Nights which is being held at Alain Locke School on Wednesdays from 4-6pm.
(The Playworks program at Alain Locke is funded by the West Philly Promise Neighborhood)
March Events in the Promise Zone:

Health and Wellness
There are many Resources throughout the Promise Neighborhood to ensure affordable and healthy food this season:

  • Pop Up Food Pantry run by PEC Tuesdays 2-4pm Alain Locke
  • PEC Food Cupboard Saturdays 10:30-1:30pm 325 N. 39th St.
  • Food Stands (see below for dates and times) weather pending or school closures
Primary Care Toolkit
Do you know the importance of having a primary care physician?

These doctors are essential to help us navigate to good health and stay healthy. They can help prevent disease by identifying risk factors, and they can coordinate and manage chronic diseases.

The Promise Zone's Access to Care Committee has created the following  Primary Care Toolkit   to help connect residents in the Promise Neighborhood to low cost, affordable healthcare resources in the Promise Zone. Take a look and call for an appointment for you and your family today!
Wealth Building Section

Job Postings
Need Help Finding a Job?

Beachell/KEYSPOT at the Dornsife Center is a free computer lab offering assistance with job search, career development, technology training, & adult education programs.
FREE PAID Job Training

 FREE Job Training for Young Men ages 18-30 Impacted by Violence
Community Health Worker/Certified Peer Specialist Dual Certification

This program is a good fit for young men interested in becoming healers and helpers in their communities and entering the human service or healthcare fields. 
Caregiver Information

District Wide Survey

District Wide Survey is OPEN!
The District-Wide Survey captures feedback on five key topics related to school improvement—climate, instruction, leadership, professional capacity, and parent/guardian community ties. The surveys reach thousands of students, teachers, principals, parents, and guardians every year, helping school and District leaders identify areas of success and needed improvement.

Make it Count: Support the 2020 Census
Every 10 years, the United States Constitution requires a count (or census) of all residents. The census collects details on the entire country’s population.
This information is used to:

  • Determine representation in Congress.
  • Distribute more than $675 billion in federal funding to states and communities.
  • Allocate resources for job creation, housing, infrastructure, and more.

In a few months, Pennsylvanians will have an opportunity to be included in this 2020 Census.
Parent Child + Offers Free Books
ParentChild+ provides FREE educational books and toys through 30-minute bi-weekly home visits, for children 16 months to 36 months. The Home Visitor will show you fun ways to help your child learn through play. 

Call or text Monica at 267-666-8661 or by email at to enroll

School Information
March Attendance Tip
The school year is in full swing!  Research shows  that helping children get to school every day and on time, sets them up for success.  Making perfect attendance  (at least 95% attendance) is not just the priority of caregivers but the entire community that supports children.

If your child is not attending school because of bullying, please call:

215-400-7233 (SAFE)

Submit a report at or complete the form that you can find at your school’s main office
Resources for Teens
It's Never too Early to Start Thinking About Summer Jobs
Start collecting the necessary items for your summer job.
These are 4 documents you may need:

-Social Security Card
-School ID or Report Card
-Birth Certificate or Passport
-Work Permit
WorkReady is accepting applications for Summer 2020 Jobs today!
Application for FREE Math Corps Summer
Program is Open
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