Trolley Car Café and East Falls Businesses come together to support our neighborhood school.
Mifflin School got a welcome boost this week in the form of a grant check from Trolley Car Café and several other local businesses. And there was no better “thank you” for donors visiting the school on Friday morning, than a classroom full of smiling, playful kindergarteners. The kids joked and showed off their math and language chops, skills that Trolley Car’s grant money will help sharpen in the years to come.
“We’re grateful for this contribution,” said Principal Leslie Mason as she accepted the check. “It makes it possible for us to purchase things we otherwise wouldn’t be able to, like art supplies and computer equipment.”
It’s the second year for the Trolley Car Cafe grant program, started by owner Ken Weinstein, the fund donates money to teachers to help with the costs of educational materials and programs. The grants have been supplemented by donations from local businesses thanks to Gina Snyder, of the East Falls Development Corporation who saw an opportunity to leverage the goodwill of the business community.
This year’s donors were deeply touched, like Christopher McGill of East River Bank who was “thrilled” to be part of such a great program at our neighborhood school. Tim Shin of Metro Presbyterian Church agreed he was only too happy to help. He shared some adorable bonding with a little boy, talking about favorite subjects and sports teams. “They’re the future,” Tim told us, while clearly enjoying the moment with his new friend.
Another donor Heather Petrone (Petrone Realty and Long & Foster), held court on the floor with the kids, offering fist bumps and leading a rousing game of “Words that Start with P” (the letter of the day in their class). Heather beamed as her pint-sized fans gathered close around her, smiling and laughing and even leaping in joy at the mention of pizza.
In fact, we got the group so riled up their poor, patient teacher, Ms Benjamin, certainly had a challenge ahead of her, trying to settle everyone down for lessons after we left. Heather laughed, “I have seven nieces, this is what I do: get ’em all stirred up then give ’em back to their parents!” Ha!
Kidding aside, Heather’s serious about helping out, even sponsoring a classroom at Mifflin: “Whatever I can do — a good school is so important to East Falls.” Her thoughts were echoed by National Penn Bank’s Michael Laing, who donated a projector to the school, “It’s critical that teachers and kids have the tools they need to learn.”
Penn Charter’s Jim Ballengee was glad to be brought into the grant program: “We’re grateful for an opportunity to support Mifflin students and our community.”
Gina Snyder, Executive Director of the East Falls Development Corporation, was all smiles too, noting that the Trolley Car program has gotten bigger contributions in its second year from donors like East River Bank, Falls Flowers, Metro Presbyterian, Simon Says Brownies, and William Penn Charter School.
And she’s excited for the future: “We hope to do this every year and grow the contributions each year as well. We thank Ken Weinstein for providing the leadership and initiating this important support for the school.”
For more information about Mifflin School, and how your business can help support these awesome teachers & students, please contact Gina Snyder at GinaSnyder@EastFallsDevelopment.org.