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Week 5: Jason Kelce’s Eagles Education Season

Each week this season, the Super Bowl-winning offensive lineman compares Philly schools to those of our on-field competitors—and celebrates a local education innovation. This week, he looks at New York City

Hey, all! As you probably know, my wife and I just welcomed our newest little baller to the family. And as any new parent will tell you, once you become a parent you appreciate the role of grandparents more than ever.

 

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So as we prepare to play New York this weekend, I’ve been thinking about how great it is that Philly has the oldest—and one of the largest—Foster Grandparent Programs in the country.

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The program is a part of our country’s government-funded Senior Corps, and exists nationwide; here in Philly, where it began more than 40 years ago, it’s run through the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service.

It places seniors—who’ve gone through a rigorous orientation and training—in schools, Head Start, and Pre-K programs around the city. Right now, the program has about 100 seniors who work with around 350 students a year in about 50 early-education institutions citywide: School District sites, charter schools, Head Start, Pre-K locations and also nonprofit education programs.

Amanda Gamble and Kenny Luu in the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service report that last year alone, the corps collectively served over 100,000 hours at schools and after-school programming citywide!

“The beauty of this programming is that it’s intergenerational, so we’re connecting these young kids with grandparents who they might not have in their life. It’s also connecting low-income seniors to meaningful service that enriches their lives. And it helps the school and the community,” Gamble says, invoking that triple-bottom line so many mission-driven programs strive to address.

Some of the seniors work one-on-one with students who need academic or behavioral support, some of them work with small groups; all of them become a part of the classroom family, giving students—and teachers—the kind of meaningful attention and TLC only a grandparent can.

Next week we head to Minneapolis, and I’ll tell you about a Philly principal working to make life better for his refugee students.



Philadelphia

Eagles

New York

Jets

# of students

203,225

# of students

1,135,334

% graduated high school

72

% graduated high school

76

% population with a BA

26

% population with a BA

37

$ per pupil

15,000

$ per pupil

20,295

% students economically disadvantaged

73

% students economically disadvantaged

74

% students of color of

86

% students of color of

85

% teachers of color

31

% teachers of color

39

% students in charter schools

34

% students in charter schools

39

% special education students

15

% special education students

20

% english language learners

12

% english language learners

14


Philly Sources: All from School District of Philadelphia except % with a BA from here, and $ per pupil here.

New York City Sources: All stats provided by the New York City Department of Education except % with a BA from here, $ per pupil here, and % teachers of color here

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