13th Street Educational Partnership
Providing meaningful relationships and mentorship to the students in the Reading School District
The Albright College 13th Street Educational Partnership connects the college with two of our neighboring schools in Reading: 13th & Union Elementary and Northeast Middle School. Albright undergraduates and 13th & Union/Northeast students build relationships, practice skills and explore new learning opportunities together. Joint initiatives range from Albright students volunteering as mentors, tutors and classroom assistants to teaming up and painting a mural or planting a community garden.
Goals of the 13th Street Educational Partnership
- To provide substantial support to underserved, at-risk students at 13th & Union Elementary and Northeast Middle School through tutoring, mentoring and academic enrichment by Albright College undergraduates and faculty.
- To create a strong sense of community in the Albright College neighborhood and build relationships between the schools and the college students, faculty and staff.
- To provide financial and volunteer support for creative projects initiated by the faculty of any of the three institutions, with the goal of enhancing students’ academic abilities.
Some of our successful collaborative initiatives of the 13th Street Educational Partnership include:
- Through a Culture & Fashion project with Albright fashion majors and art students at 13th & Union, children learn about art from different cultures during lessons taught by Albright students and faculty, then create designs based on the featured culture. Albright undergraduates transform the elementary student designs into beautiful fabrics highlighted in the annual Albright Fashion Show.
- Through the ASPHALT Forest Project, an outgrowth of the STEM movement, Albright College professors have worked with the faculty at 13th& Union to write science curriculum, hold workshops and develop an area of campus that is now being used as an environmental education center for the college and both local schools. Grants from several foundations have helped to fund this project.
- Accounting Club students from Albright volunteer during a project-based learning entrepreneurial program (TREP$), where middle schoolers at Northeast design and market unique products.
- Albright athletes from many different teams hold sports events for the schools and serve as role models to the younger students.
Our current initiatives include:
- Albright students volunteer with the Homework Center and the United Way’s Ready. Set. Read! program after school at 13th & Union, and serve as classroom assistants during the school day.
- As a service learning component of their coursework, Albright students in advanced Spanish classes provide translation services during parent conferences and volunteer with ESL students.
- 7th graders visit Albright for a “Day on Campus” to give them a taste of college life and demonstrate college accessibility.
- Arts education, theater shows, and sculpture tours are arranged for students through Albright’s Center for the Arts.
Even before working together under the current partnership agreement, Albright and 13th and Union had collaborated on numerous initiatives, with Albright College’s Education Department and 13th and Union Elementary School working together since 2004.
In 2012, Albright applied for a grant from the Wyomissing Foundation to extend the partnership from just the Education Department to all departments at the college. The grant was funded, and a partnership coordinator was hired in 2013. The following year, an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) position was added, providing an opportunity to expand tutoring, mentoring and educational programming. In the 2017-18 school year, the partnership expanded its focus to include initiatives at Northeast Middle School.
Today, more than 100 Albright student volunteers provide tutoring and mentoring at Northeast and 13th & Union, and during the school year more than 1,600 students at our two neighboring schools benefit from shared resources and enriching field trips to Albright’s campus.
AmeriCorps VISTA, Albright/NEMS
13th & Union Tutor Manager
Are you an Albright student interesting in volunteering at Northeast Middle School or 13th & Union Elementary? Let us know what initiatives you are interested in helping us with.
Required Clearances for all Volunteers: These can all be done online
- Step by Step Process: PA Clearance
- Step by Step Process: Child Abuse Clearance
- Step by Step Process: FBI Fingerprinting
Additional Information: Reading School District Volunteer Forms will be completed the day of training