On July 6th, I am paddling down the Delaware River from Trenton to Camden in an outrigger canoe to help out students at UrbanPromise Trenton. You can watch the video of last year's Paddle for Promise to see what it is all about!
Albert Einstein believed “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” This philosophy of education was a constant for Einstein, who penned it in On Cosmic Religion and Other Opinions and Aphorisms.
This is the philosophy of education adopted by UrbanPromise Trenton’s Literary Clubs, which meet weekly, and Magic School Bus curriculum, which meets daily, Monday-Thursday during summer programming. Trenton-area students from grades 3rd – 6th, 7th – 8th and 9th – 12th do not just read texts in small groups, they experience them as well.
UPT’s Literary Clubs and Magic School Bus curriculum is the equivalent of a Vitamin B shot: instead of energy surging through the immune system, it surges through the imagination with emphasis on and encouragement to use it. Imagination, specifically for adolescents, is often associated with play, and not all adolescents are afforded the luxury of play.
Imagination often falls by the wayside, or is disregarded, when we are not living, but surviving; and there is a nihilism in only surviving. In a city where only 30% of students in grades 1st – 8th are reading at grade level, the high school graduation rate is 71%, 11% of residents have earned a Bachelor’s Degree over the age of 25, and the per capita income is $16,914.00, survival often takes precedent over play and imagination.
In an effort to shift the existing narrative, UPT offers free summer programming where the curriculum is infused with experiential and expeditionary learning by way of sharing in the fantastical adventures and adolescent journeys of texts like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls, Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, and E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.
We also use these texts to encourage play, as well as stretch and strengthen imagination, and there is no better time than the summer months to read these texts and embark on field trips to places where students can mirror the experiences of their protagonists like Harry and Charlotte, Conor and Meg.
Please consider contributing to UPT Literary Clubs, Magic School Bus summer programming, or our StreetLeader program, which employees Trenton-area high school students. We are working to raise a total of $3,000.00, and appreciate any gift no matter the amount.
I want to thank you in advance for your support~I am proud to support and work with UPT and the children and teens of Trenton NJ!
Want to donate by check? Please make check to Urban Promise Trenton and mail to 801 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08618. Don't forget to put my name in in the memo line!
Does your employer have a company match program? Let us know and we will be happy to facilitate the match process!
Contact Eric: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on employee matches.
UrbanPromise Trenton (UPT) is a private,non-profit organization and, as such, donations made to UPT are tax-deductible as allowed by IRS law.
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