Community Roundup: Community Learning Center’s Spelling Bee Fundraiser and Belmont Charter School’s STRIPES Pitch Event

May 21, 2021

On April 28, PFCU’s Erin Ellis attended a live virtual Spelling Bee fundraiser hosted by the Center for Literacy (CFL) and Community Learning Center (CLC). PFCU sponsored the fundraiser, which aims to raise money to support the organizations in their missions to provide adults and families free, high-quality education.

This spring, the CFL and the CLC announced their merger, combining 87 total years of experience working to combat low literacy. The newly-joined forces are forging on with a new name: Beyond Literacy, or “BeLit.” Following the merger, Beyond Literacy is now the largest literacy agency in Philadelphia, offering strong transformational services and classes to those seeking a way to a better life. By helping learners improve various skills such as reading, writing, math, English language, digital literacy, and workplace skills, BeLit’s classes “move students from learning to earning, helping them succeed as workers, parents, and neighbors.”

Spelling Bee Fundraiser
Community Learning Center’s Spelling Bee Fundraiser on April 28.

Also on April 28, Erin attended the virtual STRIPES Gig Edition Pitch Event, which is part of Belmont Charter High School’s STRIPES program. The STRIPES program launched in January 2021 as a place-based program for 9th-11th graders, but when the pandemic hit, it was redesigned as STRIPES Gig Edition, an entrepreneurial program for 11th-12th graders in the 2020-21 school year; the 2021-22 program is a 10th grade program focused on Land & Power.

Erin spent 12 weeks with a group of Belmont Charter High School students earlier in the school year to engage them in a variety of real-world experiences. Through the program, students had the chance to meet with local business leaders, partnering with Drexel’s Close School of Entrepreneurship, and develop their own business plans to earn credits for Civics and Economics, English, and Financial Literacy. The Pitch Event aims to provide a platform for scholars to get professional advice, with the possibility to secure funding or internships.

The panelists for this event were: Allison Trapp, Belmont Charter High School; Beth Dyson, Belmont Charter Network; Erik Weber, Sparks Marketing Group; Jared Ware, Community Education Alliance; Justin Green, Green Investment Group; Sara Lepori, Philadelphia Commerce Department; Shanisha Mitchell, Belmont Charter Network; and Tony Dover, Belmont Charter High School.

STRIPES Gig Edition Pitch Event
Students giving a presentation during the STRIPES Gig Edition Pitch Event on April 28.

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