March 21 was an exciting day for DVFP and S. Weir Mitchell Elementary School in Philadelphia. At an assembly at the school that day, DVFP for the first time in its brief history fulfilled educator applications for classroom supplies, projects and class trips. DVFP founder Ed Riehl presented sixteen teachers with fulfillment awards for 11 Chromebooks, a dozen ‘boogie board’ eWriters, multiple sets of mythology books, a fish tank and the components for a desktop bookmaking center, among others. Funding was also provided to assist with the cost of a class trip to Washington, DC.
The Chromebooks will be used by the students to use specially-designed programs to improve their reading and math skills. The eWriters offer a creative approach to writing skills. The mythology books and bookmaking equipment are two innovative projects to enhance both the reading and writing skills of the students. The fish tank will make real the kindergartners’ study of living organisms, while teaching responsibility and compassion.
The Mitchell fulfillment awards are part of DVFP’s Educator Assistance Pilot Project intended to allow DVFP to determine whether the design of its Educator Assistance Program best meets its objective of improving learning opportunities for children living in impoverished neighborhoods. Convinced that education is the key to lessening the grip of poverty, DVFP’s education program is geared to strengthen schools serving economically distressed communities rather than looking to create alternatives to those schools.
The pilot project could only succeed with the collaboration of schools and teachers. Three schools were asked to participate and to become our Founding Partner Schools. Mitchell, being the first to accept DVFP’s invitation, is DVFP’s Founding Partner School Number 1. DVFP extends its thanks to everyone at Mitchell, but particularly to its Principal, Stephanie Andrelevich, who gave permission for the project, Tara Shaw-Caruso who serves as the project coordinator at Mitchell, and the fifteen other teachers who took the time to put together some very creative projects for DVFP to consider: Andrea Evans, Elizabeth Carroll, Keena Core, Nicole Flores, Dawnmarie Hackett, Lesley O’Brien, Jason Lerner, Rachel O’Day, Kenya Lassiter and the Special Ed Team, Emily Sharon, Tyesha Lewis, Charlena Watson, Kimberly Fail, Karen Burrell, and Allison Wudarski. Thanks to a great team!