- Featured, Letter from Executive Director, Uncategorized

Kicking COVID day 8

“It’s good to remember to have patience with our families.
This is a lot of work!”  
                                                -Tonia Koehler, Kindergarten teacher

March 23, 2020


  • Day 1 of UPA (gr. 8-12) Cyber School HUGE SUCCESS- 100% attendance!!! See below for more. Congratulations to Principal Joel Orr and his staff. Dignity delivered!
  • UPA Students want to stay online longer! Teens want more school? That’s breaking news!!!
  • Pre-K kids on Zoom! Cool and comforting!
  • 86% of our Volunteers have been contacted to explore how to help (If you’re not a volunteer but want to help, email me!)
One student expresses how she misses her friends
Tonia Koehler’s (Kindergarten Teacher) at home classroom/studio

Dear Friend,

            If I were to summarize the last week I’d say…AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! I’m wondering if any of you feel the same way? The good news is this week might make last week look good. We should coin a word for a stretch of time where each week makes the previous bad week actually look better. More good news – this week is better than you think, because next week will be worse!

            I say this tongue in cheek to say these are tough times, and we are all feeling it. And we do feel it more this week and it punches holes in our optimism. Optimism has substance if it is birthed out of realism. One of my daughters got laid off Monday, the governor delayed schools until May 15, all of us in Delaware get to be locked down today, and the stock market, well, you know. And did I miss something or did it feel like there was no weekend? Tonia’s advice above is good for all of us – “have patience” – starting with our own families.

            But I am optimistic because the good news clearly outweighs the bad news. Not because there is necessarily more of it, though I think there is, but because it weighs so much more. That’s because the good news is what we control, no matter how much bad news we don’t. We can be thankful for our families, even as we stress each other out. We can reach out to our neighbors and find ways to love them.

You’ve each done that in some way this week, with family, neighbors, or even total strangers. A conversation you would never have had, sharing mutual concerns (from a distance of 6 feet of course:) and feeling less alone as a result, or perhaps unexpected help. Even briefly you felt how uplifting that connection was. It’s love in small packets. The emails you send me are love. The emails I send you are intended as love. We can pray for each other and share things that help us cope (a friend of mine, Fred Sears, is trapped somewhere in California; he sent me a list he saw to share with all of you. It’s cool! Take a look below:). We must celebrate the good things that are happening. They remind us that the glass is much more full then empty and that has power to kick COVID.

         Here’s some celebration today!

UrbanPromise Academy (gr. 8-12) had its first day of Cyber School!
It was outstanding, here is what Principal Joel Orr had to say:

  • Our students and staff absolutely shined today!  It was no surprise to see student perfect attendance to see a vibrant, energetic staff roll out their online curriculums with pride. We are witnesses today that our community will continue to fight for education and continue to strive for excellence!!!!! Nice work ladies and gentlemen! 🙂 “Wonderful day”
  • Perfect attendance 23 out of 23
  • Classes and activities were very well thought out and executed well
  • Students enjoyed and wanted more
  • Students are very worried about the future
  • Families are getting stressed because of change
  • Volunteers John Mosko, Dave Aument, Bonnie Yeatman, Paul Keenan all interacted throughout the day; Dave Aument will be with Nehemiah in the mentoring role
  • 3 students stayed after for help

Good News

  • 86% of our After School and StreetLeader Program volunteers have been reached; that’s the first step in getting you mobilized
  • 100% of our ASP and SL parents have been called and 73% of parents reached
  • Some of our pre-K kids got on Zoom with their teacher and were really excited to see their classmates.
  • Most elementary students are engaged and learning.
  • Volunteer spreadsheets being created for each program area to help conduct calls to all volunteers. Should be ready to distribute on Tues.

“Things to Keep You Occupied and Distracted” – Courtesy of Fred Sears, our new Activities Coordinator:)

We have included links below for some fun things to keep you occupied and distracted.

*Google Arts & Culture*
Google Arts & Culture features content from over 1200 leading museums and archives who have partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to bring the world’s treasures online. https://artsandculture.google.com/

*20 Virtual Field Trips to Take with Your Kids | Adventures in Familyhood*
Virtual field trips are a great way to expose kids to new places all from the comfort of home. In this age of technology, so many museums, zoos and aquariums have set up virtual tours and webcams of their facilities.

*The Met 360 Tour*
This award-winning series of six short videos invites viewers around the world to virtually visit.

*LIVE CAM: Pittsburgh Zoo and Philadelphia Zoo Animal Visits Both the Pittsburgh Zoo and Philadelphia Zoo have webcams (typically 10AM-5PM) showing their penguin areas.

-Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium live cam at  https://www.pittsburghzoo.org/penguin-webcam/

-You can watch the Philadelphia Zoo webcam at  https://philadelphiazoo.org/penguin-point-cam/

-The Pittsburgh Zoo has a cheetah cam:  https://www.pittsburghzoo.org/cheetahwebcam/

-Elmwood Park has a giraffe cam:  https://www.elmwoodparkzoo.org/animalcam/giraffe-cam/

-Kids stuck at home due to corona virus can go on these virtual Disney Word rides.

Thanks and be safe!

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