In light of the COVID pandemic, in addition to daily virtual school day partnerships and afterschool programs, the Netter Center is funded by the City of Philadelphia Office of Children and Families to support K-6th grade students in-person Monday - Friday at the Kingsessing Recreation Access Center. We also provide hybrid in-person/virtual afterschool programming to 7-12th grade students in a safe and socially distanced space in partnership with the West Philadelphia YMCA.
In addition, while the Netter Center is working remotely and schools are closed in response to COVID-19, the University-Assisted Community Schools (UACS) team is reaching out to UACS students and families with updates and virtual program information through "Letters from Netter." If you would also like to stay connected, sign up for the newsletter HERE.
For current and previous issues of this newsletter, please click HERE.
A major component of the Netter Center's work is mobilizing the vast resources of the University to help traditional public schools become innovative University-Assisted Community Schools (UACS) that educate, engage, empower, and serve students, families, and community members. UACS focus on schools as core institutions for community engagement and democratic development, as well as link school day and after school curricula to solve locally identified, real-world, community problems. For neighborhood schools to function as genuine community centers, however, they need additional human resources and support. The Netter Center emphasizes "university-assisted" because universities, indeed higher educational institutions in general, can constitute the strategic sources of broadly based, comprehensive, sustained support for community schools. UACS engage universities as lead partners in providing academic, human, and material resources. This mutually beneficial partnership improves the quality of life and learning in local schools and communities while simultaneously advancing university research, teaching, learning, and service.
High school interns teaching nutrition education at Lea Elementary
Penn ABCS students in Community Physics Initiative course teach at local high school
Penn student and Comegys "cooking crew" student
UACS programming occurs during the school day, after school, evenings, and summers. These programs and initiatives are supported by government and private funding, as well as the ABCS courses, internships, and work-study and volunteer opportunities that bring hundreds of Penn students into the schools and community.
"The pressing thing, the significant thing, is really to make the school a social centre; that is a matter of practice, not of theory. Just what to do in order to make the schoolhouse a centre of full and adequate social service to bring it completely into the current of social life—such are the matters, I am sure, which really deserve the attention of the public and that occupy your own minds."