Saint Joseph's University

Lindy Award Runner-up: Samuel Gompers K-8 School and Saint Joseph’s University Partnership

Posted on September 26, 2019

For more than three decades, Samuel Gompers K-8 School (“Gompers”) and Saint Joseph’s University (“SJU”) have worked as community partners. With the announcement of Gompers being selected as a Community School by the Mayor’s Office of Education in the summer of 2017, a needs assessment was conducted, including input from all of Gompers’ stakeholders. The results of the needs assessment indicated three priority areas: (1) mental and social well-being, (2) physical activities and fitness, and (3) afterschool programming. In addition to the three priority areas from the needs assessment, Gompers and SJU representatives also highlighted academic focus areas of math, science, and special education.

With these priorities in place, the Gompers-SJU partnership has expanded greatly over the past two years, and to date, now comprises of approximately 40 distinct programs that span approximately 20 different departments at SJU. Just a few of the Gompers-SJU partnership programs include:

Mental and Social Well-being:

  • SJU education, sociology, and psychology student internships with the school counselor
  • Community Health Fair

Physical Activities and Fitness:

  • Upcoming Sports Fair – Gompers students and SJU athletes try out a variety of sports
  • Upcoming middle school sports teams – SJU athletics will assist Gompers coaches

Afterschool Programming:

  • Gompers’ Yearbook Club, Afterschool Program, and Improv Theater facilitated by SJU Campus Ministry, Student Life, and Faith Justice Institute service learning students
  • Gompers’ Student Government mentored by SJU Student Government officers

General Academic Needs:

  • Classroom Assistance and Tutoring – provided by SJU Campus ministry, Faith Justice Institute service learning, and education students
  • Fieldwork Placements – SJU education majors conduct fieldwork hours at Gompers

Science Education:

  • SJU biology’s Seedlings Program & Body Adventure Camp (described below)
  • Brain Awareness Day – collaboration between SJU neuropsychology faculty and students, local high schools, and Gompers teachers and students

Special Education:

  • Principal Support – faculty-principal mentorship on special education planning
  • SJU Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support – faculty-teacher collaborations for professional development and student support

The 2019 Lindy Award for Excellence in K-16 Partnerships application highlighted one of our most effective and long-standing partnerships – the Seedlings Program through SJU’s biology department. Now in its 15 year, SJU science majors teach lessons to 4th and 5th grade Gompers students through the Seedlings program. Growing out of that relationship, SJU, along with Main Line Health, provide a free week-long health science camp that includes lessons, field trips and mentorship for rising 4th and 5th graders at Gompers. These two exemplary programs highlight the reciprocal nature of our partnership as both SJU and Gompers students benefit.


More K-16 Partnerships


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