13th Street Educational Partnership | Albright College

13th Street Educational Partnership

Wyomissing Foundation



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Dr. Theodore (Ted) Ogaldez
Coordinator of Student Employment

Providing meaningful relationships and mentorship to the students in the Reading School District

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.

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:

  • 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.
  • With the help of Albright’s Bi-Lingual Volunteers, recorded lessons created by Reading School District teachers will be dubbed in Spanish so we may be able to support the progress of the districts English Language Learner (ELL) students.
  • We look forward to working with the Reading School District to provide support and resources to parents on how they can educate their children from home.
  • Albright student volunteers are virtually tutoring students in 1st – 4th Grade at 12th and Marion Elementary School everyday Monday-Thursday from 3PM to 4PM. On Fridays, designated as Fun Friday, Albright Professors present an educational activity for the students at 12th and Marion to enjoy and learn something new.
  • Volunteers from the United Way of Berks County STAR Readers Program are virtually reading to students at 12th and Marion Elementary. As part of this collaboration, STAR Readers will work with one or two students to help them improve their reading skills. Tutors do this by reading with students, practicing ‘sight words,’ and completing other literacy activities as outlined by the student’s teacher. This helps the students to reinforce reading skills, such as vocabulary, reading comprehension, etc.
  • Our “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

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.

Deb Kopetsky
Partnership Coordinator
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AJ Merlino, DMA
Associate Dean of Student Professional Development and Experiential Learning
Sebastian Pruett
VISTA Member

Yassmine Kamar