Spare Vare

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I am an involved mother of two bright, inquisitive and enthusiastic children. I am writing this petition on behalf of my two children and all the children in Pennsport who attend Abigail Vare School. The School District of Philadelphia has slated the closing of 37 schools in June, Abigail Vare being one of them. For us, for Pennsport and the community, it is unacceptable to be losing our only school. 

When my family moved into the neighborhood, we discovered that our local public school is filled with caring, engaged, dedicated teachers and support staff. Daily my husband and I listen to both of our children share stories with enthusiasm about their educational adventures within this historic building. Abigail Vare is 111 years old. It services a diverse group of children from many backgrounds, speaking many different languages. Closing Abigail Vare would leave Pennsport without a public school. 

Vare offers Pennsport children a strong academic component, as well as educational experience that prepares them for the adult world. We have a strong special education program and an ESOL program for our bilingual children. Most of our beloved school teachers have a master’s degree. Abigail Vare has full-time art, physical education and music educators. To enrich our children’s experiences and encourage growth, we receive weekly visits from wonderful instrumental instructors, as well as a nutritionist with Eat.Right.Now. Our school offers a fairly new computer lab and provides a significant amount of time for the students to be literate in our ever-growing technological world. 

The passion to create exciting, educational experiences for our children does not stop there. Our teachers and staff utilize the entire Philadelphia community to help educate, support and challenge our students to excel. The kindergartners and first graders travel to Center City for coached reading under a program called Philadelphia Reads with local law firms. The second grade participates in Reading Buddies with a local senior center. ShopRite works with the third grade in a program called Young Consumers. The middle grades’ classrooms are housed with interactive white boards, as well as classroom laptop carts. The school encourages cross-grade activities. For the students interested, there are after-school clubs held and designed by the teachers, including a homework, gaming, and guitar club to name a few. Also, parent workshops are offered monthly dealing with relevant topics, such as raising children in today’s world, teaching respect and nutrition. We benefit from visits by Fleisher Art Memorial and Drexel University dancers. Abigail Vare is undeniably a family. 

My husband and I feel very fortunate to have access to such a resourceful institution. If Abigail Vare is closed, we will lose it all. The impact on our thriving, vibrant community is unknown, but it does make the future look bleak. Please take a moment and help us show the Philadelphia School District that Abigail Vare needs to remain open. As the children of Vare recite every day in the school pledge, ”Abigail Vare is our learning place. We are making a better tomorrow today.”

You can sign my petition at change.org.

Mercedes Amarant

South Philadelphia

Send a letter to the South Philly Review at editor@southphillyreview.com. Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification purposes.

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