Skip to main content

Project Blueprint

Swarthmore's Black Cultural Center, in collaboration with The Chester-Crozer Wellness Center, Chester Upland School District and The Chester Youth Collaborative, received a US Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Minority Health, Youth Empowerment Grant, to service the mentoring, cultural, and academic support needs of middle school kids in the City of Chester. This three-year grant will enable the Black Cultural Center to expand its already successful Saturday Cultural Institute, by expanding the scope of the program and activities, to now include an age-tiered mentoring component, a research component (done in collaboration with McCabe Library and the Mellon Foundation), and a wellness component.

The Grant and Our Partners

The BCC is the receiver of the grant and coordinates the work with and among the other two primary collaborators-Crozer-Chester Medical Center's Wellness Center ("Wellness Center"), and Chester's Smedley Middle School ("Smedley"). The BCC coordinates the academic and cultural enrichment component through tutoring and curriculum based lessons, and the aged-tier mentoring component, which includes heavy involvement of Swarthmore Black and Latino students. The Wellness Center coordinates the violence prevention program, the wellness component, organizes out-of-school activities, and coordinates the program evaluation. Smedley is responsible for student intake and monitoring student and parental participation and progress in the program.

Schedule of Activities

The schedule of activities for the 30 students in the seventh grade cohort and the 20 high school mentors is:

  • Every Tuesday- 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM, High School Peer Leaders mentoring @ The BCC
    • 3:45 to 4:00 pm: Arrival and Snack
    • 4:00 to 4:20: Aha's & Jr. Peer Leader Debrief
    • 4:30 to 5:15: Leadership Training
    • 5:15 to 6:00: Mentoring  Session & Social Time
    • Departure
    • Six Mentors, Total Time: 120 minutes
  • Every Wednesday- 3:30PM to 5:30PM, Jr. Peer Leaders tutoring and support @ The BCC
    • 3:45 to 4:00 pm: Arrival and Snack
    • 4:00 to 4:10: Opening Session & Pledge
    • 4:15 to 4:45: Tutoring - Session 1
    • 4:50 to 5:20: Tutoring - Session 2
    • 5:25 to 5:55: Tutoring - Session 3
    • Departure
    • Ten Tutors, Total Time: 120 minutes
  • Saturday Cultural Institute- 10AM to 2PM, for Jr. Peer Leaders (Afrocentric classes, literacy and research skills building, and mentoring)
    • 10:00 to 10:15 am: Arrival & Breakfast
    • 10:20 to 11:00: Session 1: Culture
    • 11:10 to 11:50: Session 2: Research & Literacy
    • 12:00 to 1:00 pm: Lunch
    • 1:00 to 1:30: Mentoring Topic Presentation
    • 1:45 to 3:00: Mentoring Session & Games
    • Departure
    • 20 Mentors, Teachers: TBA, Total Time: 300 minutes

Fridays will be available for Wellness Center Fun & Violence Prevention with Peer Leaders

Dates for the spring 2007, 2/10, 2/24, 3/3, 3/24, 4/21, & 5/5


Other Project Collaborators

  • Achieving Black and Latino Leaders of Excellence (ABLLE)-mentoring
  • Dare2Soar student organization-tutoring and academic support   
  • McCabe Library (Mellon Foundation)-research skills program

Contacts and Program Staff

Swarthmore College Contact Number: 610-328-8456

  • Bonnie Lytle, Black Cultural Center Assistant

Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Wellness Center