Hello Friends, DeeDee here to share today! I work at Community Partnership School (CPS) (communitypartnershipschool.org/), a Pre-K through 5th grade independent school in North Central Philadelphia. One of the things that drew me to CPS was their understanding of the many aspects that affect a child’s education and development. CPS knows that their school operates within a network of support that incorporates student, family, and community dynamics. CPS does intentional work to foster this as a positive and supportive partnership, allowing students to grow academically, socially, and emotionally.
My work is steeped in this mission. As the Haverford House Fellow, I work with multiple levels of the organization— from community engagement to fundraising initiatives to collaborating on strategic planning and qualitative research, I am getting a taste for multiple aspects of this organization and its relationship with the community. While I do spend some time in the classroom, my position is largely project based. My placement keeps me busy, but I am also given the freedom to work on health and wellness initiatives that interest me.
One of my first projects was a farm education program called Roots of Unity, which I developed in conjunction with the Haverford Farm Fellow Jazhara Heredia ‘16. For seven weeks, CPS first graders and interns from the Haverford Farm got together to learn about sustainable living and the world around them in a deeper sense.
Jahzara went above and beyond each week, making us a farm snack to help us try new foods. We not only visited Haverford Farm and the beautiful Nature Trail, but were also able to visit local community gardens such as the North Philadelphia Peace Park with the CPS 2nd grade and the Norris Square Neighborhood Project. The first graders learned a lot and enjoyed harvesting food for themselves and trying different vegetables each week.
With winter break just around the corner, I miss exploring the farm in the warm weather, but I am excited to see what is in store for 2018!