Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.69
Liaison Elizabeth Drake
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Swarthmore College
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Aurora Winslade
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
ChesterSemester

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership?:
Sustainability-related

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability:

The ChesterSemester Program is a one-semester, curriculum-unified, community-based internship focused on critically understanding, and hopefully ameliorating, some of society’s most pressing real-world problems. The ChesterSemester Program relies on and will expand Swarthmore’s historical commitment to sustainable community partnerships in the city of Chester. For the Swarthmore and Chester communities, respectively, the goal of this program is shared transformation for all parties in a spirit of intentional commitment to build societies of purpose and meaning for mutual benefit. In Professor Mark Wallace’s two Religion courses, that work is done within the academic frame of Religious Studies and Environmental Studies; other eligible courses across the curriculum provide frames from their respective disciplines. In the community, fellows develop the reflective and practical skills necessary for addressing seemingly intractable problems. Similarly, Chester partners — including Chester Eastside Inc. and Quaker Earthcare Witness African Diaspora Coalition — benefit from working alongside committed students who share a common vision for healthy neighborhoods in the context of a free and open exchange of insights and ideas.

Website: https://www.swarthmore.edu/lang-center/student-opportunities-chester


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Serenity Soular

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (2nd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):

The Serenity Soular project grew from a seed that was planted in fall 2013, when Swarthmore College professor Giovanna Di Chiro connected with .O, the caregiver at Serenity House. Swarthmore students were invited to visit Serenity House, launching the “Sustainable Serenity” collaboration that ultimately generated the Serenity Soular concept. After discovering that the garage would not hold the weight of a garden, the team accepted an offer by Swarthmore Professor Carr Everbach of the Swarthmore engineering department to donate a solar panel for the roof. Professor Everbach led a series of workshops on solar power over the summer of 2014 which culminated in a public event to install the panel on the garage; it now powers lights in the backyard. That single panel had an even broader impact than illuminating the garden; it sparked conversations about bringing more solar to North Philadelphia. Residents expressed excitement to learn more about the industry and the potential to create solar jobs in the neighborhood. In December 2014, Swarthmore students and faculty and North Philadelphia residents launched Serenity Soular to build on the momentum of the garage roof installation.

Website: http://www.serenitysoular.org/


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
Ruth Bennett Community Farm

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (3rd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):

While this is an enduring partnership, there is no official MOU in place (i.e. ""official"" description of the partnership).
Students collaborate with the residents of the Ruth L. Bennett Homes to operate a community garden and youth education program. The Ruth Bennett Community Farm hopes to address the serious lack of access to fresh produce in the neighborhood by working with children to grow, harvest, and distribute fruits and vegetables to members of the community.

Website: https://ruthbennettcommunityfarm.com/


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:

Dare2Soar: Dare 2 Soar is Swarthmore College’s largest and oldest tutoring program that has served hundreds of children aged K-12 in Chester, PA. Chester youth receive academic and cultural enrichment through the administration of meaningful activities that provide opportunities for personal development as well as recreation. The program’s primary goal is to provide effective homework help to students in a way that encourages them to become increasingly more academically self-sufficient. During post-homework activities, students engage in fun and educational activities that increase their exposure to new subjects and help foster an independent love of learning. Having consolidated Dare 2 Soar sites from eight to six sites in FY 17-18, in FY 18-19, Dare 2 Soar provided after-school tutoring at the following Chester-based sites: Boys and Girls Club; Chester Eastside, Inc.; Chester Charter School for the Arts; Community Action Agency of Delaware County; God’s House of Glory; and J. Lewis Crozer Library.

Chester Education Foundation: Twice per week for ten weeks, 10 college students trained by LGR from Widener University, Swarthmore College and Penn State Brandywine meet at the STEM Academy to coach students in math, language arts and test-taking strategies. The LGR coaches, along with guest speakers, also provide workshops on the college application process, financial aid and student success.


Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Information for this credit was assembled by representatives from the Office of Sustainability and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.