CCGE Spring 2020 Virtual Engagement Opportunities

 Spring 2020 Virtual Civic Engagement Opportunities
 
Thank you for your commitment to staying engaged virtually in the coronavirus environment! As we know, our community is stronger together!
 
In prioritizing the health of each of our students and community members, the Center for Civic and Global Engagement has found a way to also ensure that the critical work we do collaboratively can continue.  Accordingly, we are excited to share new ways to engage (virtually) as active citizens in our communities this spring!
 
Please note that we do not advise any face-to-face direct service opportunities given the health environment at this time. Below are virtual engagement opportunities for your consideration.

To participate, please add your information to the form at: https://forms.gle/R9dz39zKGUKf3xeDA

Project Proposals:
The Center for Civic and Global Engagement is open to customizing virtual civic engagement opportunities for spring 2020. If you have an idea or learn of a great project, please contact Gretchen Mielke, Assistant Dean for Civic and Global Engagement (gkmielke@widener.edu). Please note that at this time, we do not have the capacity to fund materials or projects. However, if you have materials or items on hand, we encourage you to be creative and to consider areas of need for COVID relief efforts. Ex. sewing face masks, letters to nursing homes, etc.
 
Projects: We have been working with our community partners to identify projects that would be of assistance to them at this time. Please note that this is an evolving list. Projects will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Additional projects will be added as available. Once you have signed up, any relevant information or contact staff will be connected to you via email. If you have questions, please reach out to Gretchen Mielke at gkmielke@widener.edu.
 
Penn Medicine Hospice: Letters of Support
Penn Medicine Hospice is seeking two kinds of handwritten letters. One, “letters of hope” will be given to patients or anyone who needs the support. The second kind of letters will be handwritten letters to support veterans. Both will be addressed to generic readers. Sample letters and instructions will be emailed to you upon registering. This opportunity is open to as many students who are willing and able to participate. Students will need to mail completed handwritten letters to the Volunteer Department, 400 E. Marshall Street, West Chester, PA 19380.  (Contact: Anne Rich: anne.rich@pennmedicine.upenn.edu).
 
Chester Eastside: Virtual Out-of-School Time Program, Academic Enrichment Tutor
Chester Eastside, Inc is seeking to fill a gap in programming for existing students in their after-school program. Virtual OSL staff will provide academic and fun, individually-oriented learning activities to youth enrolled in the Phoenix OST program during a time of extended shutdown of schools. All activities will be virtual. A focus on literacy remains central to the program. We aim to assist students to stay on track, if not catch-up academically, and we will strive to engage, inspire, and support children as they learn in areas that interest them. This last part-engage, inspire, and support the children as they pursue their interests- is where you, the volunteer, comes in. The program has three components: i-Ready literacy, staff-on-call literacy and homework assistance, and one-on-one coaching. This opportunity is open to any volunteers that have all of their active PA clearances: PA criminal background check, PA child abuse, FBI fingerprinting. Current background check processing is currently closed. We are seeking students who have existing clearances. Program is estimated to begin on Monday, March 30th. (Contact: Elizabeth Doherty: edoherty@chestereastside.org).
 
Andrew L. Hicks, Jr. Foundation: Virtual Tutors:
The Andrew L. Hicks Jr. Foundation is hosting 60-minute online tutoring sessions for young Chester children. Volunteers should have their PA clearances. Complete this form to sign up to become a tutor to a Chester student today. Thank you so much for volunteering your time! For more information, visit: https://www.andrewlhicksjrfoundation.org/2020/tutoring-chester-students/
 
Tutoring form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdPBKps7Hm3aW0392CjabFzCbM8LtUu498frAXXPgqQ8e7oDg/viewform
 
Coronavirus Relief Efforts:
A variety of hospitals around the nation have shared needs related to medical supply donations and for those with talents such as sewing face masks and gowns. A few very enterprising organization in upstate NY began printing 3D medical face masks. Feel free to reach out to your local hospital about their specific virtual donation needs based on your talents and access to materials you may need.

Taproot Foundation:
The Taproot Foundation connects skilled volunteers with virtual nonprofit needs. Volunteers will apply through their foundation separately. Please send projects for prior approval to Gretchen Mielke at gkmielke@widener.edu before commencing. Examples include: providing pro bono support when an organization needs it most by connecting virtually or in person on our online matchmaking platform. Help with projects like developing a social media strategy, employee handbook development, business plan creation, financial analysis, technology assessments, and more.
 
Go to: https://taprootfoundation.org/volunteers
 
Catchafire.org: Key Skills Hub:
The Philadelphia Foundation has introduced an online tool that connects nonprofits with professionals who want to donate their skills, pro bono. This portal, powered by Catchafire, gives nonprofits access to capacity building support like creating a marketing strategy, building a website, and getting graphic design help – all for free. It also provides regional professionals with a way to be matched with nonprofits in need of their talents.

Vello Virtual Volunteer Reading Program
Vello is an innovative, 1:1 virtual volunteer reading program. Vello helps children learn to read proficiently by 4th grade through weekly guided reading sessions and by empowering teachers, parents and caregivers with 21st century literacy tools to support youth success.

As part of United Way’s Early Grade Literacy programming, Vello pairs teams of professionals and other volunteers with classrooms to provide safe, digital guided reading support. Together, students and volunteers read e-books using simple screen sharing and audio. With computer or phone with internet access, Volunteers can complete their weekly 30-minute guided reading sessions from anywhere, making it easy to give back without leaving their work space. Vello also provides students with 24/7 access to an extensive 50,000 book RAZ-Plus e-library for themselves and their family members, helping form valuable reading habits in and out of the classroom.

We are working with our school partners to provide Vello virtual volunteer guided reading during school closures. We are actively recruiting corporate and community volunteer teams – plus, matching volunteers with existing volunteer teams. Link to Vello Volunteer Flyer.

To learn more about Vello, go to www.unitedforimpact.org/vello or email vello@uwgpsnj.org

Alpha Phi Omega: Cityteam COVID-19 Food and Supply Drive:
APO has partnered with yougivegoods.com to conduct a virtual COVID-19 food and supply drive to benefit Chester nonprofit, Cityteam. All goods are ordered online and will be shipped directly to Cityteam after the drive ends. If you are in the position to give, visit their food and supply drive online at: https://yougivegoods.com/chestercityteam2020covid19?h=new
 
Virtual Training and Enrichment: Remote engagement is a wonderful time for enhancing your professional development. There are a number of great partners who are providing virtual training on social justice, diversity, leadership, community partnership, and more. We encourage you to pair your training participation with a one page post reflection that can be submitted to Gretchen Mielke at gkmielke@widener.edu. Please note that more opportunities will be added as available.
 

  • Zero Hunger Academy: Congressional Hunger Center: https://www.hungercenter.org/what-we-do/zero-hunger-academy/
  •  Play Spent: http://playspent.org/
  • Teaching Tolerance: Watch any of these webinars: https://www.tolerance.org/professionaldevelopment/webinars
  • The Muse Diversity and Inclusion Trainings: Take any of these free classes: https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-free-online-classes-for- managers-diversity-inclusion
  • National Constitution Center’s Constitution series: We kick off introductory sessions Thursday, March 19, and Friday, March 20. On Monday, March 23, we begin the full eight-week series of live classes. The full schedule is available here. The 1 p.m. courses on Wednesday, Thursday, and Fridays will be available for anyone to watch at constitutioncenter.org/live.

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