A NICE night for an Art Show

On Monday, June 16, NICE hosted a art show and auction at The Pharmacy in an effort to raise awareness to the #bringbackourgirls campaign and fundraise for art supplies for our school.

About two dozen neighbors came out to mingle, drink wine and bid on pieces created by both local artists and students from Childs. The night was a huge success: we raised $350 and brought awareness to the community around important child wellfare issues.

You can read more about the event and it’s tie in to the #bringbackourgirls campaign in the South Philly Review, here.

#bringbackourgirls art from Childs Student

NICE members speak at Ignite Philly

Jen Devor and Megan Rosenbach presented about NICE and connecting with neighborhood schools at Ignite Philly last night! We promised a little cheat sheet for how to engage your neighborhood schools.

1. Figure out what your neighborhood catchment school is. The best tool for this is the School District’s school finder. Type in your address and it will show you which school (or schools) are in your catchment.

2. Connect with an existing grassroots group that is supporting your school (and if there isn’t one, think about starting one!). Many civic groups have education committees, others have independent “friends of” groups like NICE, and some have very active Home and School Associations.

3. Start with a small gesture like dropping off school supplies or bringing in something to show appreciation for teachers (food is good). This will help make the connection. (Making friends with the office staff cannot be underestimated!)

4. Form relationships with school staff or parents of current students (also known as your neighbors). This will help ensure that whatever efforts you put forth are informed by people who know the school and its needs much better than you do! This could look like a formal meeting with the principal, but I bet it will look more like grabbing a drink with one of the awesome teachers or having someone on your block over for dinner.

5.  Ask others to join you in caring and advocating for your neighborhood school. Whatever level of support you can offer, you don’t have to do it alone!  Engage friends, neighbors, co-workers, and other local groups. This includes reaching out to groups like NICE who have been doing this work for a few years. Email us at info@nicephilly.org.

*If you want to relive NICE’s Ignite Philly talk or if you couldn’t make it, check it out here. (Warning, the last 10 seconds contain explicit language for the sake of making a point!)

 

 

NICE Block Party Saturday November 2nd

Saturday November 2nd is a NICE day for community building!! Neighbor’s Investing In Childs Elementary (NICE) invite parents, children, teachers, and community members to join us for an afternoon of fun. Meet neighbors and other parents from G.W Childs Elementary School and learn about the work NICE is doing.

Our Elected Officials, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and State Representative Jordan Harris are scheduled to join us for this event.

We hope to see you there.

** Children MUST be accompanied by an adult

 

 

Childs Back to School Night

Childs has a new crew of City Year corp members this year!

Principal Dr. Eileen Coutts addresses a packed auditorium at Back to School Night.

Childs Back to School Night was heavily attended by parents and students on Thursday September 26th. Community organizations and school programs gathered in the lobby to hand out information about programs, promote the School Advisory Council elections, and recruit new parent volunteers. The smell of hot dogs and popcorn filled the hallways.

Attendees gathered in the school’s auditorium for several presentations, emceed by Principal Dr. Eileen Coutts. The school’s Eat Right Now representative got everyone excited about the nutrition an garden programs at the school.  Parents heard about the new PRAISE (Preventing Relational Aggression in Schools Everyday) program, which is conducted by CHOP. The new team of City Year Corp Members paraded into the auditorium clapping reciting their chant about spirit, discipline, purpose, and pride. The eight corp members will work with 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students during the school day as well as after school. Kim Smith, a long time parent at Childs, and Megan Rosenbach, founder of NICE, addressed the crowd last. They encouraged parents to get involved this year by becoming a room parent, helping establish a Home and School Association, or running for a seat on the School Advisory Council. After the program, parents and students followed each teacher up to their classroom for smaller gatherings!  All and all, it was a fun, educational evening!

NICE’s work to revitalize the library pays off!

For over a year, NICE and Circle of Hope have been coordinating hundreds of volunteers to revitalize the Childs Library. When we began in June 2012, the space was cluttered, books were sitting unused in boxes, and the space was seldom used by students. Last summer was spent organizing the books into the Dewey Decimal system, weeding out old and torn books, and giving the room a good clean!  We have come a long way!

Due to NICE’s work, the school’s principal prioritized hiring a full-time librarian teacher for this coming school year! Students will visit the library on a weekly basis for a library prep class. There are now hundreds of books entered into the electronic catalog, which will make it simple for students to check books out and read at home. This can makes a significant impact on students! Research shows that children with access to printed books have higher literacy rates, better behavior, and positive psychological outcomes. Not only is the library functional, it is also a fun room with bright colors, a reading corner, and a mural painted by Childs Alumni.

NICE will continue to work in partnership with the school librarian to improve the Childs library. We need volunteers to enter more books into the catalog system and we need funding for high interest books that children are excited to read!

Help Us Complete the Childs Library!

The backstory: G.W. Childs school moved into the Barret Middle School building (16th and Wharton) in the fall of 2010. One of the projects lost in the shuffle of the move was re-establishing a functioning library for students.  After the move, most of the books remained in boxes, instead of landing in the hands of eager young readers. During summer 2012 all of that changed! NICE, along with Circle of Hope and a dedicated Childs parent, gathered volunteers to reorganize the Childs Library. Now, phase one of the project is complete.  The books are sorted and shelved, furniture is arranged, and students are learning from their new literacy teacher in the space!

With your help, NICE will raise $4,000 to start helping G.W. Childs Elementary School with a variety of needs. Our first project is to complete the revitalization of the school library by painting a colorful mural, and creating playful but functioning work stations to inspire learning. In addition, we will install display racks for excess books, white boards and other learning tools. These improvements, along with digitizing the library system so that students can check books out to bring home, will make Childs library a modern place where students can read, research, and imagine! Something every child deserves.

Circle of Hope is offering to match our first $1,000. That means every dollar donated up to $1,000 earns the library project an extra dollar! Double your donation today!

 

 

 

Saturday January 26th: Education Advocacy Training hosted by PSCA

The Passyunk Square Civic Association (PSCA) Education Committee wants to help you become an advocate for our public schools.
Please join them for an advocacy training led by representatives from Education Voters of Pennsylvania and Public Citizens for Children and Youth.The training will include a brief overview of the leading issues in education along with information regarding how you can advocate for funding at both the state and local levels.
The training will take place on Saturday, January 26 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Circle of Hope at 1125 S. Broad St. 

Come to the next NICE Meeting

Thursday January 3rd, 2013

1500 Block of South 15th Street.

Email megan.rosenbach@gmail.com for directions and address.

Support our neighborhood school by coming to the next N.I.C.E. meeting this Thursday. Thriving schools are made possible by the dedication not only of staff and current parents, but also of neighbors and prospective parents. At the meeting we will  discuss our strategy for moving forward, classroom observations, the library fundraiser, and more!