Loving our neighbors in the Philadelphia School District

Mural painting at H.A. Brown elementary school

Supporting students and teachers

At Circle of Hope, we realize that scarcity is a real obstacle that we face in this city. Perhaps nowhere is that more clearly seen than in our public school system. However, we also know that we have the tools to overcome this obstacle, through community, generosity, and love. During the last school year, we had three compassion teams that were actively supporting teachers and students in our neighborhoods. I wanted to highlight each team here, as we look ahead to the new year. If you are interested in supporting one of these schools, or starting another school support team, there are contacts listed below.

Friends of H.A. Brown

Students art at Circle of Hope galleryOver the last year, the Friends of H.A. Brown team has connected Circle of Hope to the local East Kensington elementary school in many ways. Last fall, they invited people to help paint murals and beautify the school. They offered an opportunity to show support through a whimsical Dr. Seuss themed fundraiser at a local bar. Finally, in May they teamed up with the Circle of Hope Gallery at 2007 Frankford Ave. to display students’ artwork. This event happens on First Friday in conjunction with other gallery events in Fishtown. It offers the students a chance to see their work displayed and valued in a professional setting. There is always a lot excitement from the students, and it is one of the most colorful and inspiring exhibits that graces the gallery walls each year. For more information, please contact Lauren: lstichter@gmail.com

 

 Neighbors Investing in Child’s Elementary

circle of hope volunteers at school spring clean upIn South Philly, our friends are very involved with G.W. Child’s Elementary and have built long-standing relationships with neighbors and teachers. As the first compassion team to partner with a school, the Neighbors Investing in Child’s Elementary (NICE) team has a lot to teach us. They are an active group of neighbors in a school that has partnerships with at least 20 different non-profits. Gardening, bicycling, and running are just a few of the activities that students have access to through the non-profit support. Each year, Circle of Hope joins the NICE team for the annual Spring Clean-Up, making friends and showing tangible care for students. For more information, please contact Megan: megan.rosenbach@gmail.com

 

 

Advocates for Duckrey Elementary

Last autumn, the team organized a fundraising event for the teachers at Duckrey Elementary in North Philly. They raised money for the school and showed appreciation to the teachers for their dedication. In addition, Circle of Hope awarded a $500 grant to a program the teachers presented. The program that received the grant was a movie and dinner night for parents and their children, followed by literacy games. They offered this event monthly, seeing many families come back each month. With this grant, the teachers created a space where learning could happen with the whole family, and offered another resource for literacy to the community. In the spring, this team also participated in the Spring Clean-Up at Duckrey Elementary for the second year in a row. For more information, please contact Tricia or Shelby: triciafussaro@gmail.com or smithsc@susqu.edu

For more information on starting a compassion team, email Bethany: bethanyhornak@gmail.com

Bethany Hornak, reporting

Bethany is the wearer of many hats, including Circle of Hope Operations Manager, Compassion Core Team leader, local food co-op volunteer, and intrepid home renovator.

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