PECO and Drexel recently joined forces to develop the Drexel-PECO Community Education Collaborative, an education program designed to improve public school options for families in West Philadelphia. The five-year program is backed by a $1 million grant from PECO and has three components:
- A $500,000 investment in the Samuel S. Powel Elementary School focused on enriching educational programs and improving educational resources for elementary school students.
- $300,000 to develop a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program for middle school (grades 5-8) students who attend schools or reside in the Powelton Village and Mantua neighborhoods
- A $200,000 investment in an inclusive planning and engagement process with the community to create a blueprint for educational enrichment in the Powel and the Morton McMichael Elementary Schools.
Design, development and implementation of the components will begin immediately and continue over the next five years
“We are proud to join forces with Drexel, and the residents of Mantua and Powelton Village, and to invest in the personal and educational development of the young people in this community,” said PECO president and CEO Denis P. O’Brien.
“We take very seriously our responsibility to be a good neighbor, and this collaboration with PECO will allow us to focus on strengthening our positive impact on the community,” said President John A. Fry. “The collaboration aligns with our vision for Drexel to be the most civically engaged university in the nation.”
The community education and enrichment plan will be developed collaboratively with community stakeholders in Powelton Village and Mantua, and will include a comprehensive assessment to identify educational needs and resources to lay the groundwork for a coordinated network of strong schools in these neighborhoods.
The program will begin by addressing Powel School principal Kimberly Ellerbee’s top priorities, which include a reimagined and upgraded school library, professional development for teachers and upgraded technology to enhance literacy and support STEM education.
The STEM program—a series of summer workshops—will enable youth who express interest in a STEM career in the middle grades to educate and build on that interest, enabling these students to choose an appropriate high school program and further the pursuit of a STEM career.