Do you know a child who makes your heart smile? I do. I know more than 550. They are the mighty students of Mitchell School in Southwest Philadelphia, where I am the proud Principal. They are each featured in the 100 year photo highlighting this page, celebrating our 100 year school anniversary in June of 2016. They come to school daily battling socio-ecomonic challenges that make them heroes. They also come to school daily with talent, intelligence, dreams and open hearts. They come with hope. They are our heroes. We need your help to level the field of resources to support our heroes in developing the skills needed to become happy, thriving and successful members of our society in their adult lives.
We are entering year two of a five year plan to grow Mitchell into a model neighborhood school for the Soutwest Philadelphia community, a school that a short year ago was plagued with facilities which were crumbling and a climate in crisis. In a little over a year, the Mitchell community of staff, familes and partners have transformed our 100 year building into a welcoming home, where climate is collabortive and on the rise.
Now we are focusing on academics. Our students are in need of daily small group instruction to minimize the achievement gap of most reading between one to three years below grade level. In order for students to work in a small group with the teacher for individualized learning, the rest of the class needs engaging and focused instructional acitvities to utilize independently. Our skilled teachers are in need of updated technology to allow students to flow through stations in our classrooms. We are requesting sponsors to fund Tech Tubs, holding 6 Chromebooks, for each classroom. This will allow a small group of students to access a new online program, known as iReady, in a station after working with their teacher to reinforce valuable literacy and math skills. Without the technology, iReady cannot be utilized.
We have hung our banners. We have painted our hallways. We have organized our after school clubs. We are wearing our school swag with pride. We are collaborting in meetings and trainings. We are shouting as a school family daily for all to hear, "We are Mitchell. This is our house." However, our acacemic data cannot rise, our children cannot thrive, without the up to date resources all students deserve, regardless of their zip code. The funding of this technology is nothing short of life changing for our school community. Our children deserve equity in resources!
To support this fundraising campaign, I am training for my 3rd marathon in three years. On November 20, 2016, I will run the Philadelphia Marathon, with members of the Mitchell Family by my side each taking on a mile or two...hence then name "Miles for Mitchell" (26.2 to be exact!!!).
We encourage you to visit the following website to read our feature on the front page of the Philalelphia Inquirer in Spring 2016 entitled "Teaching Hope"http://www.philly.com/philly/education/Teaching_hope.html
With hope and gratitude,