Contact: Rev. Zuline Wilkinson Executive Director
Chester Eastside (CEI) is a place where gardens grow, children learn and families find hope! CEI has operated a Food Bank Program, a “clothes closet,” an After-School Tutoring Program, and a Summer Program since the 1980s. Two days a week, volunteers prepare nutritional food boxes for distribution and a hot meal is served for anyone in need: supplying 120,000 meals to recipients every year. On the horizon is a 6-week Cooking Program to support healthy eating, targeting people with cardiac, diabetes, and pulmonary diagnoses. Dr. Chia Jia, Professor of Nutrition Science at Immaculata University, is providing pre and post follow-up studies to see if the program meets the goals that CEI has set for itself.
CEI provides an After School Program for children ages 5 to 14 years. This program has evolved into an active tutoring program in the areas of Math and English Language Acquisition. It serves about 45 children, free of charge, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm each school day. About 80% of the children come from a nearby (walking distance) Charter School. CEI’s program works closely with the students’ schools and their parents to determine what kind of help is most needed. CEI reviews its efforts to help each child against standard measurements to determine if they are making progress. Volunteers for this program are students from Swarthmore College and Widener University as well as the community.
On Saturday mornings (year-round) Phoenix Technology Training is offered to High School students, as well as younger students. CEI also provides a day long program during the month of July. In addition to a variety of activities, it ensures continued learning for each child so that they do not fall behind academically during the summer months.