13th Street Educational Partnership | Albright College

13th Street Educational Partnership

Providing meaningful mentorship to Reading students

The Albright College 13th Street Educational Partnership connects the college with our neighbors and community partners in the Reading School District. Albright undergraduates and students in the Reading School District/Northeast Quadrant 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.

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Goals of the 13th Street Educational Partnership

  • To provide substantial support to underserved, at-risk students, with emphasis on the English Language Learners (ELL), in the Reading School District/Northeast Quadrant 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 Reading School District, Community Partners, 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.
  • To provide support and resources to the Hispanic community with an emphasis on the English Language Learners in the school district.

Are you an Albright student interested in volunteering at Northeast Middle School and/or 12th & Marion Elementary School?Check out the “Our Team” tab below for contacts.

Required Clearances Act 153 for all tutors:
Pennsylvania State Police Clearance
Child Abuse History Certification
FBI Fingerprint

Need Your Clearances? Send requests to:
Dr. Theodore (Ted) Ogaldez
Coordinator of Student Employment

Laern more about our partners featured here:



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 12th & Marion/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 12th & Marion/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 student volunteers are tutoring students in 1st – 4th Grade at 12th and Marion Elementary School everyday Tuesday-Thursday from 3PM to 4PM.
  • The “Makin’ Beats” program, run by current Albright students majoring in Music Industry Studies, introduces the students at Northeast Middle School to music production and composition using digital audio workstations, like Ableton Live and Logic Pro
  • Through our current Culture and Fashion project, Once Upon a Runway, students at 12th and Marion Elementary will be working with Albright Fashion Students to read a book of their choice, pick their favorite character, and create the outfit that the character is wearing in the story. The elementary students will then debut their new looks in the Albright Fashion Show.
  • Northeast Middle School students will be given a tour of the Albright campus to experience college life, visiting areas such as the recording studio, the SRI building, and the cafeteria.

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 12th and Marion Elementary School, 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.


AJ Merlino, DMA
Associate Dean of Student Professional Development and Experiential Learning
contact for questions regarding partnerships, career development, and experiential learning
AJ is a touring musician turned leader in higher education with a passion for community development. He’s operated several businesses, won awards as a touring/recording musician, and was a quarterfinalist for the GRAMMY Foundation’s Music Educator Award for his work with students in underserved populations. He currently holds multiple positions including Associate Dean of Student Professional Development at the ELCDC, Director of Music Industry Studies, and Assistant Professor of Music at Albright College.

Sebastian Pruett
VISTA Member
contact for questions regarding becoming a community partner/volunteering and general communication
Sebastian is a Penn State graduate (Scranton), earning his B.A. in Corporate Communication. Sebastian’s goal is to continue his work with non-profits in support of the community. When he’s not at work, he likes traveling and playing video games.

Yassmine Kamar
Educational Assistant
contact for questions regarding media, the Makin’ Beats program, and general information
Yassmine is the educational assistant at the 13th Street Partnership and an Alum, receiving her B.A. in Music Industry Studies. She enjoys making and listening to music and is working towards a career in the music industry.