Barn-raising in heart of Philadelphia a success

Barn-raising in heart of Philadelphia a success

Kilpatrick, left, and three other Lycoming College staff members support the KIPP school staff as they move into new facilities.

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Several Lycoming College staff members participated in the urban version of a barn-raising at a charter school in north Philadelphia. The Lycoming volunteers joined hundreds of others to put the final touches on the new facility for the KIPP West Philadelphia Elementary Academy where students will begin classes at the end of August.

The school is a part of the KIPP, or the Knowledge is Power Program — a non-profit network of college-preparatory, public charter schools educating elementary, middle and high school students. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. KIPP Philadelphia currently operates five schools across north and west Philadelphia, serving 1,725 students in grades K-12.

“When we learned that our partners at KIPP Philadelphia were looking for help with moving, we jumped at the opportunity to support this incredible school,” said Andrew Kilpatrick, associate dean of student success and academic services. “Helping them move is just one more way we can support our partners in creating environments and pathways for all students to have access to a quality education.”

Lycoming College is committed to supporting KIPP’s mission by providing students from their programs who enroll at Lycoming with the funding needed to make college a reality. KIPP students also participate in various programs at college, including a mentoring and college-readiness program, that provide additional resources and support since many of these students are the first in their families to go to college. Lycoming College currently has about 70 students who came from KIPP programs around the country; nine of those are from KIPP Philadelphia.

While at the KIPP school, the Lycoming volunteers focused their efforts on picking up trash and weeds along the perimeter of the school and property, hanging signs throughout the building, assembling shelves and moving furniture.

“Over the years, the staff and faculty at Lycoming College have made their support for KIPP and KIPP Philadelphia abundantly clear,” said Sarah Gomez, managing director of KIPP Through College. “We were pleased to welcome them to our new facility and to work side by side with them to prepare the new space for our students and teachers just as we have worked side by side with them in college access, admissions and student support through the years.”

Another KIPP school, the KIPP Philadelphia Charter School, also moved to new facilities this summer. Additional information about KIPP Philadelphia can be found at www.kippphiladelphia.org. Photos from the barn raising event can be found here: http://kippphilly.smugmug.com/2016-Barn-Raisings/.

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