PCSE Seed Grants in Action: Report #2 from Cardinal Kids

Each year, the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship awards three $5,000 seed grants to fund the launch or early-stage growth of a project, program, or venture. Cardinal Kids, run by George Perez ’20, Katie Murray ’19, Jenny Chelmow ’19 and Mariel Middlebrook ’20, was one of this year’s winners. This is their second report since receiving funding from the PCSE in March 2018. You can read their first report here.

In mid June the Cardinal Kids Coordinator team was advised by Wesleyan’s Office of Community Service to postpone the rollout of their program to an indefinite later date. At the time the decision was made, we were collaborating with Oddfellows to hire musical mentors for the music arm of our program, as well as beginning to reach out to teaching assistants. We also collected diverse syllabi from students interested in teaching classes, a few of which we have linked below.

While the news came as an unexpected surprise, the delay afforded us extra time to shore up some of the more uncertain aspects of our programming, namely, the absence of a permanent on-campus facility. Moreover, we hope to create more on-campus partnerships this semester while remaining optimistic about starting in the spring.

In the meantime, our coordinators, Jenny Chelmow ‘19, Katie Murray ‘19, Mariel Middlebrook ‘20, and George Perez ‘20, will continue to work on some aspects of our programming. We remain in close contact with Oddfellows, and have put them in contact with the students who expressed interest in musical mentoring at Cardinal Kids. To prepare for the spring 2019 start, we will continue to recruit potential teachers and teaching assistants at this year’s club fair. We also hope to use the club fair to both increase awareness of our program and to meet first year students interested in youth education. This semester we will also be meeting regularly with Diana Martinez and Clifton Watson of the Office of Community Service to iron out the program.We are immensely grateful for their guidance and institutional support. Once we have an official start date, we will organize teacher trainings. It is our goal to include former Green Street administrators and community leaders in this training; we would not be here without them.

This past week, the 27th of August to the 31st of August, the Cardinal Kids team has participated in OCS’s annual coordinator orientation. We met with incredible members of Middlesex county’s non-profit sector, many of whom work closely with Middletown youth.

Lastly, here are some syllabi that offer glimpses of the really exciting programming we will be bringing Middletown soon.