Educate Our Kids
1. Get Rid Of Blight To Fund Schools
This initiative will raise significant new funds for public education without raising taxes, and those funds will be put in to the right hands.
In the 2nd District, there are over a thousand vacant properties owned by City agencies. A small handful of these properties should be preserved as gardens or open space, but the overwhelming majority should be appropriately zoned for a use that makes sense for the neighborhood, and then sold to private builders. This effort will raise approximately $50 million. These funds should be placed in an endowment for parent groups, such as Neighbors Investing in Childs Elementary, Friends of Chester Arthur, Supporters of Stanton, etc. Schools currently without parent groups should receive the necessary support to establish them as soon as possible. Such an endowment would fund each school with hundreds of thousands of discretionary dollars each year. Ori will organize this effort so that today’s children do not have to suffer the consequences of yesterday’s bad financial decisions.
2. Healthy Learning
This initiative will make sure our kids are taught healthy eating habits.
Food quantity and quality are critically important to healthy learning and living. Here in Philadelphia, far too many children go to school hungry or fill up on the wrong foods.
Ori will organize an initiative to partner area farms, local restaurants, and supermarkets with schools in the district. These partnerships will provide children with healthier meals and education programs on healthy eating. Farm to School and similar partnership programs have already proven to be successful throughout the country, even in places like Los Angeles, which has a bigger school district than Philadelphia. Not only do these programs provide healthier food to our children, but they come at a lower expense than traditional cafeterias. In Philadelphia, where we enjoy the benefit of being strategically located near hundreds of farms, a Farm to School program and healthy eating partnerships are long overdue.
3. Incentivize Parent Participation
This initiative will offer support and incentives for parents to be active participants in their children’s education.
When Ori volunteered as a math tutor at a local church, he got a firsthand perspective on the importance of parental involvement in the success of children’s education. The value of tutoring time was greatly increased when a child’s parents or guardians had the time and resources to reinforce the lessons being taught in the classroom. The benefits of parental involvement are obvious, not just in test scores, but in a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
As a community, we can and should do more.
Ori will seek out willing partners in the business community to donate money, school supplies, and gift cards that will go directly to families in need when parents take an active role in their children’s education. If a working parent needs to skip the night shift to attend a parent-teacher conference, then we need to reward that parent, not punish him or her – a gift card to a local grocery store can offset the income that that same parent is sacrificing to be an active participant in his or her child’s education.