We’re Hiring!

Delaware Valley Fairness Project is recruiting for the position of Assistant School-Community Partnerships Coordinator.  It’s an entry-level position, but one that leads to advancement for the right candidate.    Details below….

ASSISTANT SCHOOL-COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS COORDINATOR

The Delaware Valley Fairness Project is looking to add a team player who believes in the mission of Delaware Valley Fairness Project.

The Assistant School-Community Partnerships Coordinator works under the direction of the Executive Director and supports the Associate Director in all that must be done to meet the needs of the schools we serve and the constituencies that make up their communities.  The Assistant School-Community Partnerships Coordinator will be expected to assist in delivering our services to schools, including the following:

  • Coordination of Extracurricular Activities:  works with the school to attract the right programs for each school, to manage those programs and provide the support services (e.g., communication) necessary to best assure the success of the programs.
  • Assisting in Development of Family Engagement Programs:  works with the school’s parent or community liaison and its Home-School Association/PTA/PTO, the DVFP Coordinator to increase family engagement with schools.
  • Special Events: helps to organize special events such as community open houses, career days, school festivals.

Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree.  Some experience in nonprofit service and/or in K-12 schools is preferred, though not an absolute requirement.   Candidates should be flexible and adaptable, comfortable working independently and as a member of a team, and have strong oral and written communication skills.

Candidates must obtain mandatory school clearances (PA Criminal History Check; Child Abuse Clearance; FBI Fingerprint Clearance).   Candidates must have a means of transportation to be able to move among schools throughout the Delaware Valley.

Starting Salary:  $32,000;  4 weeks vacation.

Delaware Valley Fairness Project is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

To apply, please send your resume, the names and contact information of at least two references, and a cover letter stating why you want to work for the Delaware Valley Fairness Project to: edward.j.riehl@dvfairness.org

 


GIVING TUESDAY IS COMING!

Tuesday, November 28, is Giving Tuesday.  Delaware Valley Fairness Project accepts donations not only for Delaware Valley Fairness Project, but also for each of the schools for which we serve as School-Community Partnership Coordinator:

Mitchell Elementary School, Philadelphia

Moffet Elementary School, Philadelphia

Elkin Elementary School, Philadelphia

Penrose Elementary School, Philadelphia

To make a donation to one of  these schools, please insert the name of the school in the “Special Instructions to Seller” text box.  All donations made to a school are reported to the school and maintained in a fund that may be used only upon express direction of the school’s principal. Schools receive 100% of the amount donated as Delaware Valley Fairness Project makes no charge for this service.

GO TO THE DONATE PAGE ON OUR WEBSITE TO DONATE TO DELAWARE VALLEY FAIRNESS PROJECT OF TO ONE OF OUR SCHOOLS!    THANK YOU.  


My Grandfather Isn’t a Killer

Hope everyone read Madison Smith’s article in the Feb 2 Philadelphia Inquirer. As was noted, the article was written for Delaware Valley Fairness Project’s student essay program! Very proud of Madison!http://bit.ly/2ljNgU7


PRINCIPALS MATTER !

Mitchell Principal Stephanie Andrewlevich
Overbrook Educational Center
Principal Meredith Foote

Mitchell Elementary  and Overbrook Educational Center (OEC) are two of the K-8 schools in the Philadelphia School District.  They are very different schools.  Mitchell is a 100+ year old building in the city’s southwest Kingsessing neighborhood.  OEC is a newer building in the city’s Overbrook neighborhood.  Mitchell has some 700 students; OEC about 275.  Mitchell is one of the district’s turn-around schools. OEC has the district’s largest population of blind and visually impaired students.Stephanie Andrewlevich and Meredith Foote are the principals. Ms. A, as is she is known, is at Mitchell; Ms. Foote is at OEC.  In a certain sense, they have more in common than their schools.

Obviously both are women. In addition, each is in her second full year at her school.  Both were raised in the Philadelphia area: one in the city, one in the suburbs.

Each is 100% committed to her students.  Each demands compassionate high-level performance of the teachers and support staff in their schools.  Each is loved and respected by the students and each has a habit of telling every student she meets that she loves him or her.

DVFP has supported a number of projects in each of Mitchell and OEC.  We are comfortable doing so because we know that the energy and enthusiasm Ms. A and Ms Foote bring to their buildings multiplies the impact of our investment in their programs.

Leadership matters.  Good principals attract good teachers, create positive learning environments, and make for good schools.  Thanks to all the Ms. As and Ms. Footes out there.


Elizabeth Adeyi Joins Board of Directors

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The Delaware Valley Fairness Project is proud to announce that Elizabeth Y. Adeyi has been elected to the Board of Directors.  Elizabeth is the Executive Director of Child Care Information Services of Montgomery County, PA, and the former Eligibility Director of Child Care Information Services of South Philadelphia/Caring People Alliance.  She comes to our Board with over 20 years of professional management experience in social services in the Delaware Valley.

Elizabeth brings not only her extensive experience in management, but also her passion for helping the less fortunate in our communities.   As a visionary and collaborator, she has revamped a program to benefit families experiencing homelessness and launched a new program in Montgomery County to assist foster families with child care.  A leader and advocate in the early learning community, she has shown an uncanny understanding of needs and an ability to use data in program creation to bridge gaps in services.

Delaware Valley Fairness Project is very fortunate to have Elizabeth as the newest member of our team.  She can be reached at eadeyi@dvfairness.org.


USING MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE TO BUILD CHARACTER IN AT-RISK YOUTH

Delaware Valley Fairness Project has agreed to fulfill a request from Keith Arrington, Principal of Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in North Philadelphia, for support of a Young Gentlemen (YGs) mentoring program.  The program uses music and the performing arts together with a 12-week curriculum to motivate at-risk students and improve their academic performance in areas such as reading comprehension and fluency, vocabulary knowledge, and presentation and staging skills.

The Young Gentlemen project was established by Loni Gamble, a music producer, songwriter and performer who has directed such programs in Williamsport for some 15 years.  His partner in curriculum development is Rafika Soaries.   The program at Thurgood Marshall was started last spring, but did not have the funding to continue this fall.

DVFP will assess the impact of the YG program on the attitudes and values of the participants through observations and before and after program questionnaires.


OEC: VISUALLY-IMPAIRED AND SIGHTED STUDENTS TEAM UP TO PLAY SOCCER

Roland Ananiglo is a coach and Grade 6 TA at Overbrook Education Center (OEC).  OEC is a Philadelphia public school that serves a student population of sighted and visually-impaired students.   With almost one-third of the students unable to read print without magnification, technology aides, enlarged text, or braille, OEC has the largest population of blind and visually impaired students in the Philadelphia School District.

Mr. Ananiglo applied to Delaware Valley Fairness Project for supplies to bring together sighted and visually-impaired students to play on the first OEC school soccer team.  As he noted in his application,  OEC was authorized to have a team but had no supplies and serves a population that cannot afford the uniforms and equipment that the children need to participate in sports.

On September 28, DVFP presented OEC and Mr. Ananiglo the funds he needed to launch his unique program. And just in time.  That afternoon the team had its first practice and five days later played its first game.

To learn more about OEC, follow oecjags on Instagram.


MITCHELL PARTNERS COALITION UNDERWAY! DEPUTY MAYOR NINA AHMAD AND COMMUNITY LEADERS JOIN THE EFFORT

Delaware Valley Fairness Project (DVFP) and Mitchell Elementary School in Southwest Philadelphia are undertaking an initiative to build a coalition of Mitchell Partners to strengthen support for the school and the community.  Mitchell Principal, Stephanie Andrewlevich, convened a meeting of current partners on September 21 at which she stated her vision for Mitchell as an educational institution and as an engine for change within the community.  She also made clear her need for support from Mitchell’s partners to make the vision a reality.

DVFP president, Ed Riehl, then explained that DVFP approached Mitchell this summer with an offer to take on the role of forming a coalition of Mitchell partners. DVFP will coordinate the coalition’s effort to deliver the resources identified by Mitchell’s staff.

The more than twenty people who attended, including Deputy Mayor Nina Ahmad as well as representatives from the University of the Sciences, Wayne Presbyterian Church Devereux Behavioral Health and several local community organizations, expressed support and a willingness to do what is necessary to make this effort successful.  Others in attendance and supporting the undertaking were Spark Philadelphia, New Hope Philly, ASAP, Citylights and City Year.   Any organization with an interest in joining the coalition should contact DVFP at edward.j.riehl@dvfairness.org.

To keep abreast of events at Mitchell, check out the Mighty Mitchell Heroes page on facebook!


Why Fairness Matters

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Is there anyone who hasn’t heard a child, or an adult acting like a child, say, “It’s not fair”? Or how about the retort, “Well, sometimes life’s just not fair”? Sometimes there IS more ice cream in one bowl than another, or you DO have to work on a holiday, or someone else DOES get more credit than for something. It isn’t fair, but it also isn’t fatal. It’s more like a bump you have to endure along your journey. It really doesn’t matter.

That’s not the “fairness” for which we took our name, Delaware Valley Fairness Project. Ours is more the fairness that’s lacking for a child born into poverty, or for a wounded family without enough money for food and shelter. It’s what’s missing for the medically addicted, the mentally ill, the victims of discrimination and the countless unwanted in our communities. These are the people whose voices are silent but whose eyes tell us that it’s not fair, if we just look into them.

The unfairness these people suffer isn’t the bump in the road. It doesn’t go away after a day, week, or year. It’s life-defining, multi-generational, and what some would call systemic, And it’s harmful – to those who live it and to all the rest of us, too.

When unfairness flourishes, everyone is its victim. Consider drug addiction, violence, pan-handlers, the decrepit condition of streets and houses in economically distressed neighborhoods. Consider the taxes used to address these social conditions. Consider the fear engendered by the anger of the oppressed. These are the fruits of unfairness.

Delaware Valley Fairness Project’s mission is to lessen these effects by attacking their common root cause: poverty. Poverty limits human potential. Poverty limits human life span. It robs children of childhood. It crushes self-confidence. Poverty strips people of dignity. It gives rise to alternative means to survival, anti-social pathways to self-respect.

Poverty is unfair, and it is that unfairness we work against. Fairness matters because fairness would mean the end of poverty. Fairness means well-resourced schools for everyone, fair-paying jobs, and training to qualify for jobs. It means dignity for individuals, hope for families, childhood for children.

Fairness matters because everyone’s life becomes better. Dignity, hope, opportunity: better than drugs, violence, and slums. Think about it.


Chromebooks, a Fish Tank and Bookmaking in Southwest Philly

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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.

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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!