Posted on

Northeast EPIC Stakeholder Group Meeting 1/26/2012

The EPIC Stakeholders group continues to be a rising positive force in Frankford.  Attending one of their meetings is never a chore and always interesting.  Thanks to Kim Washington for the meeting minutes.

Ambrose Lui / Seth Pollock (Arts Rising / Harding Middle School)

We work in schools to ensure access to a high quality education inclusive of the arts for all of the students that we work with.  The Artzone program taps into the expertise and enthusiasm of educators, parents, and community members at all levels.  We have reached out community organizations such as the Northeast EPIC, local politicians, Councilwoman Sanchez’ office, State Representative Tony Payton’s office, the public libraries and recreations centers, faith based groups and various businesses in Frankford.  The Artszone is work with Clay Studios, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater and the Walnut street theater to bring art into the classrooms.  We have convened an Artzone Advisory Council and with that we have done community asset mapping with students.  You can find out more about what we do at or contact Ambrose Liu, Artszone Coordinator at, (215) 665 – 7400 ext. 3355.

The Artsrising program in collaboration with the Walnut Street Theater is working with the students at Harding Middle School around the issue of bullying.  They are in the process of writing, directing and acting in their own play around bullying to perform for the local elementary schools.  The EPIC Stakeholder group will be working with Artsrising in hosting a play for adults in the community o showcase what the student put together.  Once the details of that is put together the coordinator will get that information out to the group.

Joseph Douglas (IMPACT Services)

Mr. Douglas gave a brief overview for each of IMPACT’s Job Readiness Programs.

Welfare to Work

Ex-Offender Reentry Program

Incarcerated Veterans Training Program

Youth Placement Program

Access to Recovery

First Step I.D.

Walk-in Services

Erica Smith-Fichman (Tree Philly)

The goal of the Tree Philly program is to increase the tree canopy in the city so that residents reap all of the benefits of having a tree.  Through the Tree Philly campaign residents will be able to sign up to receive a small or a large tree in their yards.  We are partnering with Kim Washington from the Frankford Parks Group and Janet Bernstein from the Frankford Garden club to host a tree give-a-way and tree education workshop.  There are two tree give-a-ways scheduled for Wednesday, April 25th from 4-7pm and on Saturday, April 28th from 10-1pm in Wilmot Park. 

 Manny Citron (Northeast Coordinator Philly Rising)

We are working with the Frankford Parks group and the Frankford Garden club to establish a few community gardens in some of the empty lots in Frankford.  I have put Janet and Kim in touch with the office that does the UGA agreements which is essentially a contract that grants the community the right to care for a city owned lot.  Jason Dawkins is working on the green space in Hedge Street Park.


On Sunday, February 26 We will be holding a Free Tax Preparation and Financial Aid Workshop for residents at the CDC which is located at 4900 Griscom Street.  Professional Accountants are volunteering their time to do free tax preparation and the Philly Goes 2 College office is facilitating the financial aid workshop which will walk parents through filling out the FASFA form.

15th Police District Sgt.

The Sgt. Is new to the 15t District.  He use to run the bicycle until in the 26th District.  He is interested in attending more community meetings in Frankford where residents are exchanging resources, such as the job readiness programs at IMPACT.  There is a Police advisory committee meeting for the different organizations in the community that is being held on Monday, January 30th at St. Joachim’s at 7pm.  Captain Bachmeyer also does a district tour and he will stopping through the Tacony Civic Association Meeting on Wednesday February 1st at 7:00pm.

Dwight Leevy (DHS SCOP)

The first thing organizations need to know about SCOP is that it works on a reimbursement system.  The groups must front the cost for the programs and then DHS will reimburse groups that are approved for the grant.  The grant ranges from $1500 -$5000.  The programs must focus around youth engagement.  Adults that will be involved with the youth must have criminal clearances, FBI checks, and child abuse clearances.  Each group must have a board.  If you have a group that is interested in applying you must come down to 1601 Cherry Street and sign up to receive an application.  The grant must be completed in returned to 1601 Cherry Street by the last Friday in February at 3:30pm.

Joan Todd (Carson Valley Children’s Aid 

Joan gave a presentation about two of her afterschool programs which are being run out of Harding middle school (CHEERS & CHICKS).

C.H.I.C.K.S is an afterschool program for young girls in Harding Middle School.  We are holding a “Roots Benefit Concert” to raise funds for the programs.  The concert is being held at the SIGMA Sound Studios on 212 North 12th street on Saturday, February 18th; Doors open at 8:00pm; Contact Joan Todd for information about Tickets at 215 535 1093 ext. 219.

Brandon Brown (Nu Sigma Youth Services)

Nu Sigma Youth Services, is an organization that is focused on providing information sessions to parents, community members, school officials on key resources that focus on the drop-out crisis in the city.

Kimberly Washington (NE EPIC Coordinator)

The next event scheduled to place on the strategic plan was the financial aid workshop with Philly Goes 2 College.  However, the CDC is now hosting that event, so the funds allocated for that program we reallocated to the City Year Truancy Prevention Program and to the Sister Circle Program at Frankford High School.

We are in the process of working with Carson Valley Children’s Aid’s Frankford Neighborhood Center, City Year and the Ninth grade academy leader to put together the 2012 Frankford Field Day.  Last Year our EPIC group was awarded a SCOP Grant to bring back this event that was previously held in the community but was cut due to a change in funding.

We are also working to use our monthly meetings for some skill building.  As such our next few meetings will be financial literacy workshops.  February will kick off a series of budgeting and money management workshops.  Our next meeting will be “Understanding Your Credit Report”.  This workshop is being facilitated by Chris Rhametulla from Pathways PA.

There will also be some outreach to form two committees to plan the 2012 EPIC mini Summit and the Women’s History month event that were both on the strategic plan.  The next meeting will be Thursday, February 23rd from 5:30 -7:30 pm at Aria Hospital.