BENEFITING: THE CHESTER FUND FOR EDUCATION AND THE ARTS
EVENT DATE: Jan 01, 2015
My friends and I are three Swarthmore college students who volunteer at Chester Charter School for the Arts (CCSA), an academically demanding, arts-enriched non-profit public school serving children from the City of Chester, one of the poorest cities in Pennsylvania.
We became involved in CCSA after seeing Dr. John Alston's TEDx talk. John is a former professor of music at Swarthmore College who resigned from a tenured position at the College three years ago to found CCSA, and he has since dedicated himself to providing exceptional arts programs to Chester children.
CCSA's mission is to prepare its students to employ their intellectual and creative powers to enrich their community. The mission is ambitious and has inspired us to deepen our commitment beyond Swarthmore College. Although Chester is two miles from Swathmore's idyllic campus, the differences between the two communities are significant.
There are 34,000 people living in Chester, and 35% live below the poverty line - that means that a family of 3 lives on $25,000 or less. The median income for a family in Swarthmore is $187,874.
Research shows that by the time low-income children are four years old, they hear 32 million fewer words than their middle and higher income peers. Further, research demonstrates that the key to closing the gap and building strong readers is fostering quality communication between students, caregivers and teachers.
We are working with CCSA's Kindergarten teachers, and the Swarthmore Rotary Club, to launch a new literacy program at CCSA called Reading Beach Club. Our objective is to build fluency, hone critical language and comprehension skills and develop positive associations with reading. Building enthusiastic and confident readers early is critical to academic success.
We need your help transforming CCSA's community space into a beach-themed environment for CCSA's scholars, and our friends, to share in the joy of reading. To create our beach, we need age-appropriate, multicultural books, beach chairs, beach blankets, picnic baskets, umbrellas, and decorations to promote playful and creative thinking and enduring relationships.
So here is the breakdown.
We would like our storytellers to share 88 new multicultural children's books. CCSA has 44 Kindergartener students and we would like to honor each student with two new books. Volunteers from the Swarthmore Rotary Club and other members of the community will read these books with our students in this program and in subsequent school years. The approximate cost of providing 88 new books is $1200.00.
We would like to provide our 22 storytellers with their very own picnic baskets filled with books. We estimate the total cost to be $400.00.
To transform Kindergarten's community space into a true beach, we will need beach towels, beach blankets and beach chairs. We are estimating the total cost to be $500.00.
Finally, we hope to purchase a few decorations to enliven the space. We are estimating the total cost to be $2300 for additional creative materials.
As we receive donations, we will prioritize the needs in the following order:
Books = $1200
Picnic Baskets = $400.00
Beach Supplies = $500.00
Decorations = $200.00
Total = $2300
We will provide updates with pictures as we acquire these important items!
Thank you in advance!
Please visit chestercharterschoolforthearts.org for more information about CCSA.
Hillary Sorin at (610) 605-7422 or firstname.lastname@example.org