Jackson Systems would like to share with you the story of William Penn Elementary IPS School #49, the least privileged of all IPS schools. At School #49 every teacher is invested in their students. They have to be, because they are the voice for those children. Many of School #49’s students are homeless, and many others live in foster care or group homes. Each year, the school has to report numerous cases of neglect, a chore that is truly heartbreaking.
William Penn administrators know that they have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their students. They care for their students greatly and strive to help them overcome their many barriers. Below are just a few services School #49 does to help these less fortunate children.
100% free breakfast and lunch
English as a second language (48% of students are from non-English speaking families)
Homework assistance (many students have parents who are illiterate)
Social workers find Thanksgiving and Christmas assistance for many of the students
The Mary Riggs food pantry and Second Helpings provide dinner to many of the students’ families
Teachers sell nuts to buy school uniforms
Utility bill assistance
Midtown Mental Health has an office at School #49 to help students cope with everyday stress and living
Each year in December, Jackson Systems provides two classrooms with winter gloves, books, school supplies, fruit, stickers, candy and a classroom party. The kids love the fruit as they never have it at home and many have never even owned a pair of gloves. The children choose their own book, and for many, it becomes the first book they have ever owned. We then play games and provide juice boxes and a Christmas snack for the class. The grand finale is a snowball fight! Before the party, our staff makes snowballs out of white hosiery and quilt batting. The kids love it and it warms our hearts to be a part of their joy. Additionally, the two teachers are given a piece of technology (computer projector aka “Elmo”) to aid in the teaching process.
We have decided to take this program to the next level. Instead of only doing two classrooms, we are going to host a holiday party for the entire school this year. Our projected cost for the party is approximately $6,000. In addition, we would like to provide an “Elmo” brand visual aid projector to each grade level (K-6) at William Penn. Each Elmo projector costs approximately $900. The grand total of the entire project is $15,000.
Along with the financial commitment, a lot of work goes into preparing and giving the party. So we would be grateful for any volunteer time you could offer as well. We would welcome approximately 3 hours of time either helping in advance of the party or the actual day of the party.
Although there are assistance programs in place at William Penn, the school and its students are far from having the things they truly need to be successful. Jackson Systems is asking for your help in making this year’s Christmas tradition even more bountiful, rewarding, and memorable.
William Penn Elementary #49 is not just a school. It is home for many of its students. William Penn’s teachers do more than teach. They love their students and hope you will too. This is a big undertaking. It is our hope you will be able to assist us. Any donation of time or money is greatly appreciated.