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School Coalition Seeks New Ways to Improve Schools

A coalition of local organizations is fighting to make the public schools in Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill better.

The Mt. Airy School Coalition is looking for ways to raise money for the local Philadelphia schools anyway they can.

Because, quite frankly, they need it.

“We have three schools here in Mt. Airy where 90 percent of the school population comes from families that live below the federal poverty line,” said East Mt. Airy Neighbors Executive Director Elayne Bender.  “Even Jenks in Chestnut Hill has 50 percent of its students living below the poverty.”

This fall a coalition of local organizations including East Mt. Airy Neighbors, West Mt. Airy Neighbors and Mt. Airy USA has joined forces to help the schools anyway they can.

The Coalition has formed an educational Educational Improvement Tax Credit Organization that will raise money through local business taxes.

Businesses can choose to have up to 90 percent of their state business taxes sent to the Mt. Airy School Coalition where it will then be turned into grants to help local schools.

“Right now we have 16 businesses sign up,” Bender said.  “The state will then hold a lottery to determine the businesses that will be in the program.”

In the meantime, the coalition is also collecting school supplies.

“We’re doing it partly because the schools need the money,” Bender said.  “But also, a lot of people want to help the schools, but they don’t know where to start.”

Bender said anyone can help.

“You don’t have to be a rich person.  A box of pencils costs 99 cents at the Dollar store,” Bender said. 

The coalition will be taking supplies until Sept. 16.

Items needed include: copy paper (top priority), pens, pencils, chalk, dry-erase markers, sharpies, composition books, boxes of tissue and construction paper.

The supply drive is for all of the local public elementary schools including A.B. Day, Emlen, Henry, Houston, Jenks and Lingelbach.

You can drop off supplies at any of the following locations:

Awbury Arboretun

Address: 1 Awbury Rd., PhiladelphiaCope House First Floor

Hours: Weekdays 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Lutheran Theological Seminary

Address: 7301 Germantown Ave. Brossman Building First Floor

Hours: Weekdays 9 a.m.-6 p.m.  Call 215-248-4665 if the room is locked.

St. Michael’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

Address:6671 Germantown Ave. St. Thomas Hall

Hours: Weekends Sat. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sun. 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration

Address: 6900 Stenton Ave., side entrance

Hours: Wed-Fri 3:30-6:30 p.m. Call 215-247-2561.  If no answe, leave supplies in vestibule.  Sun. 9-11 a.m.

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