There is no better demonstration of commitment to the values of civic engagement, service learning and leadership than community partnerships that work with schools.

Through local partnerships, the William Cramp Elementary School provides academic and emotional support and educational opportunities to their students and families.

“Eat Right Now comes to our school and works with K-4 on nutrition lessons,” said special education teacher lead Tonya Cabeza. “We have a partnership with Christopher Hospital. They provide workshops and do grief groups as well.

“We have a partnership with Shoes That Fit, they recently dropped off 50 pairs of sneakers that we will be able to hand out.

“We’re also doing different initiatives where if students get perfect attendance in the month of December they will enter a raffle and at least one child from every grade will receive a free bike,” she added. “These are just some of the partnerships and things that we’re doing at Cramp.”

Dancing Classrooms Philly (DCP) and Musicopia are two programs that keep Cramp students engaged musically.

DCP programming at Cramp is via the Musicopia’s Adopt-A-School (AAS) program. The AAS program helps 12 Title 1 schools bring music education to their students through funding from The William Penn Foundation.

Each partner receives a strategic assessment of its existing music program and a customized year-long plan of programs is created to meet the needs of each school including residency programs, instrument donations, repairs and purchases, vocal and instrumental music coaching session, music teacher support, field trips to the area’s cultural attractions and ballroom dance residencies from affiliate organization DCP.

“The Musicopia program at Cramp involves a few different grades this year,” said Musicopia program director Leslie Malmed Macedo. “Students have classes Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and it’s a different group each day. The lessons are shorter, but there is a teaching artist there for an hour at a time and reaching two different classrooms each hour.

“With Cramp, they also have an itinerant teacher coming in one half day a week, so we’re really trying to help support the programming that already exists,” she added. “We really want to be able to give all kids access to music education.”

The (DCP) program has been in person at Cramp for the last two years, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic the program will be moving online. For the next 14 weeks, fifth-grade students will be learning ballroom dancing virtually.

“The students will be learning six different dance styles including the Waltz, Tango, and Foxtrot,” said program director of Dancing Classrooms Philly Swati Chaturvedi. “The sessions will be 30 to 40 minutes.

“There will be two parts to each instruction. The first part, students will be watching pre-recorded lessons along with our teaching artists.

“They will talk about what they’ve watched and then the following week they will have a live lesson via Zoom where they will be doing a lot more dancing and putting those concepts to practice,” she added. “This will all lead up to one big culminating event, which will be virtual this year.”

Through the Healthy NewsWork program, students at Cramp are learning how to conduct interviews while blending their writing skills with healthy pursuits.

Last year, fifth-grade students interviewed world heavyweight boxing champion Bernard Hopkins. This year, students in the program interviewed award-winning children’s book author Lesa Cline-Ransome. Both articles will be published in the winter edition of the student-produced school newspaper, The Fit Flyer.

“We’ve had the partnership with Healthy NewsWork for quite some time now and it’s been an amazing experience for our students,” said principal Deanda Logan. “I’ve really seen the students writing just get better and better in terms of professionalism, proficiency and helping them find their voice.

“We’re really fortunate because we have so many different partnerships at Cramp that really help us out with so many different things,” she added. “We’re grateful for everything that they have done and it shows that with collaborative efforts, we can help our students succeed.”

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