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Dear Penn Community:
Thank you for your continued support and thanks to the more than 500 volunteers who participated in the University of Pennsylvania's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 2003 Commemorative Symposium on Social Change Day of Service activities.

Volunteers painted and spruced up Wilson Elementary School and Sayre Middle School; others worked on "Helping Hands" projects for local shelters and elder care programs. Children learned about Dr. King's life by creating banners and by having volunteers read to them. Participants toured impoverished area in Philadelphia to learn about the realities of poverty in order to become active in helping to improve conditions and worked at a food bank. West Philadelphia students participated in a one-day mentoring program with Penn students. Volunteers participated in Philadelphia Reads book sorting and training.

Following is our monthly posting of community service opportunities. Please contact me via e-mail ( or call (215) 898-2020 to volunteer for any of the programs.

–Isabel Mapp, Associate Director, Faculty, Staff and Alumni Volunteer Services,
Director, Penn Volunteers in Public Service, Center for Community Partnerships

February Volunteer Opportunities

Adult Volunteers are needed to tutor middle school students in the SquashSmarts program. SquashSmarts is a Philadelphia youth enrichment program that combines the game of squash with academic tutoring and mentoring of middle school students. Students attend practice two afternoons per week–1 hour 15 minutes of squash followed by 1 hour 15 minutes of tutoring–and then two hours on Saturday mornings for squash play only. The 3-days per week schedule continues through the school year. This personal attention, tailored to each student’s needs over the course of a three-year-long commitment to the program, is what makes SquashSmarts so unique.

Join the Penn VIPS Scholarship Committee.  Help plan the 11th Annual Penn VIPs Scholarship Program where we select and honor outstanding students from Bartram, Parkway, Overbrook, University City and West Philadelphia High Schools. Planning is underway for the June 2003 program.

Earned Income Tax Credit ("EITC") is the country’s largest anti-poverty campaign–help low-income, working families receive the tax credits they earned. In order to make this a successful campaign, we need volunteers to help process tax forms at free tax filing sites across Philadelphia. The project will operate 25 sites, each of them open 3 sessions per week for 4 hours. Session days are scheduled on Monday and Wednesday (4-8 p.m.) and Saturday (either morning or afternoon, but not both). Each volunteer will receive IRS training and certification and will be taught all that is necessary. United Way is coordinating the training.

Tutors! Project Home, Saint Elizabeth’s After-School Program located at 1845 North 23rd Street, is in need of tutors to help out at their after-school program. Provide homework help and listen to children read. Sessions are held Monday-Thursday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Volunteers do not have to attend everyday.

Help Out at the VA Medical Center. Volunteer to write letters for and read to the elderly veterans. Do you have a valid driver’s license? Your help is needed to drive a van to transport Disabled American Veterans to and from the hospital.

Annual Penn VIPs Penny Drive to benefit a local West Philadelphia nonprofit organization. Send suggestions for a beneficiary to: Dropsite Committee, c/o Isabel Mapp,Center for Community Partnership, Suite 519, 133 S. 36th Street/3246.


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 21, February 11, 2003