An “Adopt-a-School” pilot program seeking to teach Philadelphia students financial literacy through hands-on educational experiences is coming to 11 local schools including Germantown High School, according to the sponsoring Wells Fargo Foundation.
“The goal of this program is to demonstrate Wells Fargo’s commitment to education and demonstrate our approach to supporting schools and low-income communities,” said Aldustus Jordan, the foundation’s vice president of community affairs.
The schools selections were based on prior connections to the company and proximity to a local branch. Jordan said a diverse student population, geography and school type were also considered.
Partnerships and giving
Citing a “mix of Foundation giving, employee volunteerism, financial literacy education [and] non-profit partnerships,” Jordan noted that 24 partnering organizations are working with the effort. They include the Philadelphia 76ers, the Philadelphia Zoo, the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts and more.
“The majority of the partner organizations will look to support the partner schools through philanthropic dollars that they receive from the company throughout the year,” explained Jordan.
Ongoing “Hands on Banking” workshops will be offered to students, parents and members of the school community at local branches as well as tutoring and mentoring activities.
Meanwhile, program partners will help organize enhancement projects including school painting, landscaping and light construction tasks. Participating students will also go to concerts, plays, museum visits and sporting events as well.
In March, a room in one of the schools will win a redesign as part of a “March Madness” competition.
This will all come after Wells Fargo representatives tour each school to “develop a comprehensive partnership plan,” said Michele Lawrence, senior vice president and area president of Philadelphia Community Banking at Wells Fargo.
Although the School District has proposed closing Germantown High, Lawrence said Adopt-a-School will still work with the school.
“The program is about helping students succeed,” she said. “Regardless of whether the physical building closes or not, the partnership work that Wells Fargo facilitates will support current Germantown students wherever they end up attending school in the District.”
In addition to Germantown, the other schools involved include: (Center City) Folk Arts – Cultural Treasures Charter School; (Northwest) Feltonville School for Arts and Sciences; (North) Pan American Academy Charter School, Girard College and KIPP DuBois School; (South) Chester A. Arthur School and South Philly High; (Northeast) Mastery Charter Smedley Elementary School and George Washington High School and (West) KIPP West Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School.