ABOVE PHOTO: From left; Kenneth Scott, President and CEO Beech Companies, Victor Young, Esq. Sullivan Center CDC, and Louis Massiah, founder and executive director, Scribe Video.
The Alston-Beech Foundation (ABF) awarded over $20,000 in grants to local non-profits who were cited as having shown considerable revitalization efforts in North Philadelphia at the bi-annual luncheon of the Cecil B. Moore Consortium.
The 16 award-winning, non-profit program grantees underwent a vigorous application and intensive selection process. The revitalization effort in the Cecil B. Moore section of North Central Philadelphia has been an evolutionary process that has germinated a vibrant community economically, educationally and socially, according to Kenneth Scott, President and CEO of the Beech Companies.
Without the collaboration and the considerable effort of the awardees, the sustained revitalization efforts would have been minimized, according to Scott. “The program grants are a great way to acknowledge the work of non-profits and their selflessness to support underserved communities.
The funds be used for a variety of senior, educational, neighborhood corridor development, and science programs. The awardees all expressed their thanks, offered some insight onto their organizations, and explained how they planned to use their funds.
Program representative Don Richardson of the Blackhawks Athletic Club displayed the same enthusiasm and gratitude expressed by all of the recipients. “We plan to use the funds to support 350 kids this summer in all kinds of sports activities,” said Richardson, who found it difficult to contain his joy as he boasted about the club’s football teams that are competing nationally.
Dr. Diane D. Turner of The Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, housed at Temple University, will use the award to underwrite an audio project that will enhance the collection’s 500,000 items, that range from printed material to art objects and artifacts.
The Alliance for Progress Charter School plans to use its grant to underwrite travel for its sports teams. “The school has no formal athletic facilities, but the cooperative efforts of the community allow us to share local facilities,” said Principal Joanna Hightower, who was beaming as she accepted the school’s award.
The more than 50 persons in attendance also celebrated the 25th anniversary of Christine l. Brown, Director of Beech Community Services, who was awarded a plaque for meritorious service by Ken Scott. Kudos also were offered to Scott, who received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Lincoln University.
The following organizations were awarded program grants:
Alliance for Progress Charter School: The school is a mission-driven, K-8 charter school rooted in North Philadelphia. Founded in 1998 by the Women’s Christian Alliance — a non-sectarian, social service agency serving the community for more than 90 years — AFPCS is now an independent school that offers enhanced educational opportunities to children in surrounding neighborhoods and beyond.
Blackhawks Athletic Club: This youth basketball program provides children seeking sports outlets with an extracurricular activity. The club’s mission is to use organized sports as a tool to help youth develop positive self-images and an appreciation for collective work and responsibility.
The Business Center: A local non-profit that provides education and business networking programs, designed to strengthen business and minority-owned enterprises. The programs better positions small business and startups to develop and vet their business concepts and further establish their reputations. TBC also provides youth entrepreneurship training and support to the environmental science program at George Washington Carver High School.
High School for Engineering and Science: At this academic institution, students are involved in learning how to maintain a profitable greenhouse, while also managing businesses.
Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection: It’s housed at one of the nation’s leading research facilities for the study of the history and culture of people of African descent. This collection, with over 500,000 items, has materials on the global Black experience in all formats: books, manuscripts, sheet music, pamphlets, journals, newspapers, broadsides, posters, photographs, and rare ephemera. Additionally, the collection houses selected artifacts, such as statues and busts.
The Educational Advocates Reaching Today’s Hardworking Students (EARTH): This program provides fun, interactive-reading and math workshops for North Philadelphia parents and their children from birth to third grade. The program’s mission is to help build children’s libraries, reinforce learning in the home and encourage experiential learning opportunities outside of the community.
Friends of Bache-Martin: This group provides financial resources and facilitates community engagement to enhance the educational opportunities offered by the Bache-Martin School. Seventh- grade students also are provided with mentors to support their academic journey with skill-building and resources that will enable them to advance to high school, college, graduate school, and career opportunities.
Give & Go Athletics RHD: Offer after-school sports and athletic programming to youth in grades 3 to 8. The program consists of after school sports at W.D. Kelley and Bache-Martin Elementary Schools as well as summer sports camp at W.D. Kelly School.
Leon Sullivan Community Hoops & Conference: Is a co-cost, three-day sports conference for children and families that features a community basketball game, educational workshops, health screenings, an all- star basketball skills clinic, and much more.
Mercy Neighborhood Ministries of Philadelphia: The Sisters of Mercy have worked in partnership with the working poor for more than 35 years by creating partnerships and services that address the needs, especially of women, children and persons with special needs in the North Philadelphia community.
North Broad Renaissance: Is a voluntary service district whose primary role is to provide connection, communication, advocacy, and a clean and safe corridor along North Broad Street between the Germantown Avenue and City Hall.
Parkside Saints Youth Sports and Mentoring Association: This group strives to provide a nurturing environment for neighborhood youth to gain athletic, social, and personal skills that promote self-esteem. Through mentoring, a key component of the program, the youth are encouraged to take pride in mentoring younger youth in their community.
Philadelphia Youth Network: A city-wide initiative, managed by PYN, which directly addresses the skills gap for vulnerable youth. The annual program provides career preparation and experience to thousands of Philadelphia’s youth.
Scribe Video Center: The Center is leading the cooperative efforts of community groups from 10 Philadelphia neighborhoods, with help from humanities scholar and video maker, to collect and preserve community history though interviews and the development of short media documentation about special landmarks. The project’s mission is to preserve communities’ memories that are in danger of being lost and preserving their landmarks.
Strawberry Mansion Neighborhood Action Center: This non-profit seeks to rebuild its community by empowering it residents to enhance the quality of life through an array of services to moderate- and low-income families.
Tree House Books: A Giving Libraries and Literacy center whose mission is to help grow and sustain a community of readers, writers, and thinkers by working to provide every child in Philadelphia with age-appropriate books for their homes and encouraging families to spend time together reading.