Building upon an existing partnership between Liberti Fairmount Church, members of the Philadelphia Gospel Movement began conversations last fall with Robert Morris Elementary School, located in the Brewerytown neighborhood of North Philadelphia. Our basic question to Principal Carolyn Williams and her staff was, "What issues is the school facing and what else might we do to help?" One of the needs was tutoring aid, for which Dave Brindley has been volunteering time each week to work with several middle schoolers on their math comprehension.
Principal Williams was also looking for ways to encourage those Robert Morris students who were excelling academically – as the well-documented challenges faced by many in the Philadelphia public school system can often be very discouraging. In the Lord’s providence, one of our PGM supporters has access to Philadelphia 76ers basketball tickets – and the idea was formed to plan a group night at a Sixers game as a way of rewarding the students. And so, on Friday, March 16, 39 “A” students from the 3rd through 8th grades, along with family members, Robert Morris administrators and PGM representatives, attended the 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets game at the Wells Fargo Center.
The evening was a success on many levels. We had a great setup in a Club Box section, which allowed our group to move around throughout the game and talk to different people. It was a great chance for the students to spend time with their parents, and for the parents to interact with one another in a relaxed setting. We also got a chance to talk with Principal Williams and Nequetta Alford, who works as the volunteer coordinator at Robert Morris, about ways the PGM can be more involved with the school going forward. Plus, the Sixers won the game!
We look forward to more opportunities to continue and build upon the Philadelphia Gospel Movement’s relationship with Principal Williams and the Robert Morris family!