Blog: September 2021

Thursday, September 16

What does UrbanPromise do to quench the thirst of hundreds of children and teens during a hot and humid summer?

We call our friends at Pepsi and the deliver pallets of FREE WATER, Snapple and juices.  Thank you Pepsi of Pennsauken for your help this summer.

Not only did Pepsi quench our thirst, their management hosted tours for our youth—sharing opportunities for employment and career options.  Our young people learned about product distribution, technology and how companies can be great corporate citizens.

“I really enjoyed our field trip to Pepsi,” claimed one teen. “It was amazing to see everything that goes into bringing a product to the public...the research, marketing, science, and production. I'll never look at a Snapple the same way again.”

Pepsi is one of many local companies who assist UrbanPromise. We’re grateful for corporate leadership who want to partner with organizations, like ours, who are making a positive impact in the southern New Jersey area.

Monday, September 6

“In just five weeks, look what we did!” Voice lifting with excitement, she continued, “Can you imagine the difference we can make by keeping this program rolling for the entire year?”

Great question: What can we do if we keep this rolling? What’s the program….

Our full-time volunteer librarian, Sue Bartholomew, was sharing with me the success of UrbanPromise’s five-week intensive summer school program.

“Every student I assessed improved one reading level. It’s remarkable the difference that focused, individualized tutoring can make," Sue shared.

I was elated to hear this news, especially after reading the current, sobering McKinsey and Company report titled "The Lingering Effects of Unfinished Learning". After collecting educational data from across the country, researchers conclude that most American students find themselves three to four months behind in math and reading. In low-income communities, unfinished learning is even greater (six to seven months) and will only accentuate existing academic disparities. The report projects an increase in high school dropouts. Lower college admissions are inevitable.

That’s why I’m so impressed with Sue and her cadre of teachers and volunteers.

"Our students didn’t simply maintain—they made gains! Our volunteers have something that a paycheck can’t buy," Sue boasted, "Passion. Love. Dedication.”

This fall—more than ever in the 33-year history of UrbanPromise—a strategic academic focus is needed to help our children and teens reclaim their “unfinished learning.”

It won’t be easy. But our team is compelled and committed to make it happen. Seriously, we’re compelled. We’re committed.

Yet we need resources to execute our mission. Whether you partner with a student, help ensure our teens stay focused and equipped for college this year, help recruit, train and mobilize a volunteer, or make sure all of our children attending after school programs are receiving tutoring and wellness services - there is no doubt we need you in order to do this important work.

There is unfinished business—“unfinished learning” to be exact.

With your help, I am confident we can close the gap in these coming months.

Let’s do this!

Bruce Main
Founder and President

P.S. We have an exciting opportunity! The Mary Anton Memorial Scholarship Fund has committed to matching dollar-for-dollar the first THREE new student partners - this is amazing!!! As a Partner you will be paired with one of our students in K-12th (your preference) and have the chance to get to know them over the course of the school year through correspondences and in-person events at our school.

P.P.S. Here’s the link to the McKinsey and Company Report:

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