After-School Programs for Northeast Philly Youth: Rhawnhurst Turning Point and 300th Anniversary Mission Campaign

After-School Programs for Northeast Philly Youth: Rhawnhurst Turning Point and 300th Anniversary Mission Campaign

Rhawnhurst Turning Point is an ecumenical center (PCUSA and ELCA) for 6-12th grade youth and young adults in Northeast Philadelphia where they can learn, grow, serve, and have fun in a safe environment supported by caring volunteers and Christian Staff. The varied after-school programs of Rhawnhurst Turning Point foster a mutually-supportive community and homework assistance in efforts to increase the likelihood that students will remain in school, develop healthy relationships, and learn essential life skills. One of our eight ministry recipients for last year’s 300th Anniversary Mission Campaign, Rhawnhurst Turning Point has aimed to expand their after-school programs offered to youth in a neighborhood often labeled as “at risk” and vulnerable to the school-to-prison pipeline.

As a result of the funds received, Rhawnhurst Turning Point was able to expand their homework assistance, drop-in center, art classes, and varied service opportunities. In addition, they added STEM-based learning to their drop in program through science experiments, chess tournaments, book clubs, etc. This past year, 56 students participated with an average daily attendance of 20 young people. As they seek to expand their programs, they continue to recruit and equip new volunteers, increase their visibility through creative publicity campaigns and local networking, and empower the youth they serve to take on leadership roles within Rhawnhurst Turning Point. We give thanks for their witness in Northeast Philadelphia.

Click here for more information and to support their ministry.

Learn More about their 300th Anniversary Initiative: https://presbyphl.org/300-mission-campaign/rhawnhurst-turning-point/

 

 

Expanding After School Mentor Programs at Chester Eastside: 300th Anniversary Mission Update

After utilizing data collected from their 2017-2018 Academic Year, Chester Eastside, Inc. is rigorously planning their work with youth and their families by expanding the 2018-2019 After School Program to five days. Embedded in the CEI After School Program are development of life skills, work readiness, and computer technology engagement.  In their offering of such vital resources and learning opportunities, the faithful of Chester Eastside, Inc. hope to be on the frontlines of not only elevating the education of children in Chester, but also to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline that runs through their city and impacts their youngest of neighbors.

Over the last year, CEI also began conversations with the Delaware County Domestic Abuse Project to integrate domestic violence awareness into their programming for 13 to 14 year old youth. They spearheaded a city-wide network of Chester Out of School Time providers, which included participation of the Chester-Upland School District Superintendent and major youth serving organizations.

They are thankful for their affiliation with the Presbytery of Philadelphia and celebrate what God is doing in the Chester community through their After School Program. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will grant their leadership and local leaders wisdom as they share God’s love in all they undertake!

Learn More about their 300th Anniversary Initiative:

https://presbyphl.org/300-mission-campaign/chester-eastside/ 

Building Bridges in Kensington: 300th Anniversary Mission Update

Presbytery of Philadelphia 300th Anniversary Celebration: Updates from West Kensington Ministry

West Kensington Ministry’s 300th Anniversary grant is being utilized to develop the Building Bridges mentoring program. This program partners with schools, non-profit organizations, and faith communities to bridge the gap between students and school, matching Kensington-area youth with caring adults.

In the past year, the Building Bridges program developed recruiting materials, applications, screening processes, and training materials. The mentoring program has established contacts within the school district and identified youth who will benefit from being mentored. They have screened and trained 6 mentors.

Community relationship building now includes an “I IN COMMUNITY” virtual community bulletin board, where students and mentors can connect to events, opportunities; and get to know their neighbors and community organizers.

Click here for more details on last year’s project and our Presbytery’s commitment to elevate education, disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, and work towards restorative justice.

 

Expanding Nutritional Programs at The Common Place: 300th Anniversary Mission Update

Presbytery of Philadelphia 300th Anniversary Celebration: Updates from The Common Place

The Common Place’s 300th Anniversary grant is being utilized for longer range nutritional programming to benefit our church community, children and families of SW Philadelphia. Nutrition education has begun and is being continuously developed. We were able to increase the access to nutritious foods. Participants have been educated on what foods are good for them and have utilized them in the meals.

We are in the early stages of renovating the old church kitchen which served our facility for the past 85 (possibly more) years, and look forward to expanding our nutrition program to include a student garden, cooking supply kits and additional nutrition education to our community.

We are working with the City of Philadelphia, and just received approval for our plans from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and are now actively seeking pricing from contractors to commence the renovation. We hope to begin work over the next several months and transfer our nutritional programming to this new kitchen and adjoining space in 2019.

We give thanks to the support of the Presbytery of Philadelphia as The Common Place fulfills its mission to provide education, social support and faith formation to the SW Philadelphia community.

Click here for more details on last year’s project and our Presbytery’s commitment to elevate education, disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, and work towards restorative justice.

Love, Respect, and Encouragement at Kirkwood Camp: 300th Anniversary Mission Update

Presbytery of Philadelphia 300th Anniversary Celebration: Updates from Kirkwood Camp

The 2017 Summer Camp season at Kirkwood was one filled with laughter, songs, adventures, campfires, and prayer. Over the course of the summer, we welcomed over 300 young folks through our summer camp program and partnerships with churches. You can view a recap video here:

The amount of growth shown through a week at Kirkwood can vary from camper to camper, but there is a noticeable difference in all our kids at the end of their time here. In today’s day and age, kids are overscheduled, overburdened, and more disconnected from their peers, their families, and their churches than ever before. The negative identities children and teens form early on in their lives as a way of dealing with the world stick with them throughout their lives. This is a primary cause of the school-to-prison pipeline.

Through the use of the 300th funds, we were able to welcome 35 campers to Kirkwood who had never attended before. Mostly non-Presbyterian, these kids were able to live in a positive, Christian community for the week, learning and discussing the Gospel, having positive, new experiences to build them up for who they are—as someone who can sleep under the stars, be brave enough to go down the zip-line, or try their hand at acting during Joy of Creation week.

We look forward to continuing our trajectory of growth since the merger and continuing to use the 300th anniversary funds to share the good news with more kids—kids who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a Christian summer camp where they are loved, respected, and encouraged to be their best selves. Thanks be to God for the faithful of the Presbytery of Philadelphia who are making these opportunities possible through the gifts of the 300th anniversary.

Click here for more details on last year’s project and our Presbytery’s commitment to elevate education, disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, and work towards restorative justice.

Prison to Workforce Collaborative of Broad Street Ministry: 300th Anniversary Mission Update

Prison to Workforce Collaborative: 

An Update from Broad Street Ministry’s 300th Anniversary Mission Initiative

As a result of the funds received through the Presbytery of Philadelphia’s 300th Anniversary Mission Campaign, Broad Street Ministry’s pilot of their Prison to Workforce Collaborative was able to hire a Reentry Concierge to oversee the program and facilitate the beginnings of employment possibilities, housing acquisitions, and other vital services for 111 guests now enrolled. Read about a recently received “success story” as they continue to walk alongside individuals seeking to make a new life for themselves after a period of incarceration:

“Jack” arrived at Broad Street Ministry after serving roughly six months in a State prison in western Pennsylvania. Although he had only heard about our general case management services, our team was able to introduce him to our Reentry Concierge, Michael, after Jack shared that he had just “come home.” Although street homeless, Jack was adamant that his top priority was finding work. Luckily, unlike many folks who have just been released, Jack already had his Pennsylvania photo ID and his Social Security card; lacking either of these items is a frequent barrier to employment. After our Reentry Concierge conducted a work history and readiness interview, we scheduled Jack an interview with First Step Staffing, who were able to offer Jack a full-time temporary position within 48 hours.

When a sudden non-work-related injury forced Jack to call out of work for several days, we were all concerned that this might mean him losing his position. On the contrary, when our Reentry Concierge called First Step Staffing hoping to negotiate a second chance for Jack, the assignments coordinator nearly laughed at him. Jack’s work ethic and proactive communication about his absences had so impressed the client company that they had actually already requested First Step Staffing place Jack back at their company as soon as he was well enough to work. Joyfully, Jack was able to return to work at the same placement.

This week he celebrates his third month of steady employment through First Step, and is now eligible to be hired directly by their client company who have already signaled how highly they hold him in esteem. We are currently crossing our fingers with the hopes that Jack will be our second guest connected to direct, permanent employment through our reentry services and our partnership with First Step Staffing.

Click here for more details on last year’s project and our Presbytery’s commitment to elevate education, disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, and work towards restorative justice.