Blog: 4 November 2016

Friday, November 4

This month I'm asking you to consider helping a bus! That's right: a bus.

Buses are a critical component in UrbanPromise's ability to serve hundreds of youth each day!

Our AfterSchool Programs require buses to pick up our youth from neighborhood schools, drive them to our programs, and then bring every child home each 

Our schools use buses for field trips and for weekly trips to our community Kroc Center for physical education classes. 

We use them to take our teens on college visits throughout the year.

Our buses take kids places they might otherwise never go: swimming, camping, museums, the beach...Buses are essential to UrbanPromise’s ability to provide developmental and experiential opportunities for Camden youth.

UrbanPromise currently owns a fleet of 8 retired school buses to accommodate the 700 youth who participate in our programs. These vehicles are on the road 6 days a week. They need tune-ups, gas, new tires, brake pads, fluid changes, and basic upgrades.

Will you help me keep all 8 of our buses on the road this year?


Thank you in advance for considering this unusual request. Thanks for passionately caring about the safety of our children and helping to grow their life experiences.

Dr. Bruce Main

Friday, November 4

There were a few wrinkled noses as we passed around the fish for a whiff at the start of class, but the promise of fish tacos had our five junior chefs optimistic.   “You know the fish tacos are going to be the best part!” predicted Cianni Green, 10.   The method of baking the fish instead of frying it gave us a chance to talk about making healthy choices as we divided the girls into two teams to tackle the recipes. The colorful vegetables gave everyone a chance to work on knife skills.

“I do not want salmonella!” said Nailah Lipscomb, 10, hurrying to the sink to wash her hands after helping bread the fish. Meanwhile the sweet potato crew got busy cutting the potatoes in even squares and deciding to move past just peeling the spots off the potatoes and peeling them completely.  The cabbage girls were slightly put off by calling the cabbage red.  “That is not red, it is purple!” said Sabechi Igweatu, but everyone agreed the orange of the potatoes and the purple of the cabbage made for a colorful dinner.    We took a few extra moments to warm the whole wheat tortillas in a pan, before each girl began filling them with fish and cabbage slaw.

A’layvia Green set out to mix up the lime mayonnaise, zesting the lime as well as squeezing the juice to add extra flavor. “We are making Key West mayonnaise!” she announced to the class, launching a conversation on the merits of tartar sauce.

The finished plate did not disappoint, with our junior chefs using words like “tasty” and “crunchy” to describe the meal, but the potatoes according to our savvy chefs “were a little under-seasoned.”

Friday, November 4

We have been busy.  The groups are coming along very well.

As we get to know the groups and the individual students, stories are bound to come out.  One of the students told a great story one of her first days in the shop: we were introducing the next topic of boatbuilding and Ha spoke up about her family. 

Ha has come to Camden from across the ocean.  Back home, she remembers her granddad bringing her to school by boat.  She and her family lived on one side of the river and the only local school was across, on the other side of the river.  So each day, if weather allowed, her granddad would take her and her sibling across the river to school.  As we kept talking, Ha told me that her granddad built the boat they used each day!  So great!!

So, weeks have passed and we have gotten to know Ha and her classmates more.  They are a great group with lots of energy and artistic ability.  We have seen some amazing pieces of art and it is coming through when it comes to boat building.  Ha is very detail-orientated and accurate.  So, it would seem, she has boat building in her blood.


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