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This fundraiser ended on 08/03/11

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Help me bring after school and youth development programing to children living in low income high crime areas of Philadelphia.

I have spent over 30 years as an educator, businesswoman and pastor helping children in Philadelphia. From 1991 till May of 2010, I served as Head Principal of Hope Christian Academy, an elementary school serving one of Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods. Some of my former students are featured in the photos on my profile page. Sadly over the past three years, the poor economy caused such a decline in enrollment that I was forced to close the school and lay off our dedicated staff.

Closing the school was one of the hardest decisions of my life. But in September 2010,my staff and I decided to turn our efforts in a new direction by starting Hope Matters Inc. Hope Matters Inc. is an academic and cultural arts after school program serving children in grades 1 through 7. Our program is unique in that unlike traditional after school programs, it does not just focus on one aspect of a child’s development such as academics or physical development. Our program integrates academics with recreation, cultural arts, emotional development and other life skills to address the needs of each child in a more holistic manner.

I believe Hope Matters Inc. is important for two reasons: 1) Statistics show that children are more likely to engage in negative behaviors such as crime and drugs between the hours of 3 and 6pm. Our program creates a caring, safe environment for children to spend these hours on constructive activities; 2) Research has also found that the arts, music, and drama help build self confidence while aiding in the discovery of hidden talents. But many inner-city schools have had to cut these programs. Hope Matters Inc. gives children access to dynamic cultural arts programming which is convenient and affordable.

Our goal for this year is to provide 35 low-income children with 10 months of instruction. Reaching our $50,000 goal, will allow all of the children to attend the program at no cost.

I appreciate your help and know the children will thank you. Your contribution helps give them the tools they need to succeed in later life.
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