This fall semester we started a new program at Tufts University. We trained a cohort of Tufts students to tutor at the correctional facility that serves their county. We also continued working to support the Boston University Prison Education Program, a college-in-prison program that is offered in two Massachusetts prisons. Petey Greene expanded recruitment from volunteers from BU and the Harvard Graduate School of Education to include the Harvard Divinity School, Harvard Law School, the Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as well, and trained them to provide academic support services to the students enrolled in the college program. Eleven volunteers served as TAs for specific courses, while five other volunteers tutored in weekly study halls. Additionally, Petey Greene organized three public events that brought speakers about prison education to Harvard’s campus. The tutoring services received high praise from the students and the facilities, and we are expanding our program at Tufts to work with another facility in Massachusetts, as well as starting a program at Brown that will bring volunteers to tutor adult basic education in four facilities in Rhode Island, and support the Community College or Rhode Island programming in those correctional facilities.
During the spring semester, the Petey Greene Program in Connecticut successfully coordinated 14 volunteers from the University of Connecticut and seven volunteers from Eastern Connecticut State University. These volunteers tutored in the Brooklyn Correctional Facility where they worked with students studying for their GEDs. The feedback from all our participants was extremely positive and we are now looking for tutoring opportunities at other correctional facilities to accommodate increased interest in the program. We are also proud to be named the 2015 Program of the Year (out of almost 50 other community outreach programs) at the University of Connecticut. Based on this success we are looking to expand to other colleges and universities in Connecticut.
This fall saw an expansion of our work on Rikers Island, bringing volunteers from NYU, Columbia College, the Columbia School of Social Work, and the wider community. 35 volunteers have been supporting adolescent male students during weekday classes at East River Academy, a District 79 high school on the Island, with more volunteers coming in on Saturdays for the supplemental “Saturday Academy” classes. Meanwhile, we piloted a new program with 5 volunteers who are supporting social workers within housing units on weekends, providing academic support to students who are studying for the GED independently. We continued our work with 18 volunteers at two federal facilities, the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where we work with adult male and female students in GED and ESL classes. We established a student leadership structure at NYU where experienced volunteers have been guiding the new cohort and organizing educational events including movie screenings and panel discussions.
After a successful summer tutoring program with volunteers from UPenn, Haverford, Temple, Peirce College, and the community, Petey Greene in PA started this fall semester of tutoring with new partnerships and over twenty new volunteers. This past fall, Petey Greene has partnered with St. Joe’s University to facilitate tutoring at the Glen Mills Correctional School. Additionally, volunteers began working with early literacy students at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia. In November, the PA Regional Field Manager, Sandie Knuth, raised nearly $1400 for Petey Greene by running the Philadelphia Marathon.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA & MARYLAND
This fall, we continued to have excellent tutors from Howard University tutoring GED students at a local jail in Maryland. And a new addition for this semester, our program at George Washington University, sends volunteers to Maryland’s only prison for women, where tutors work with students seeking to earn their GEDs. Completion of the GED program makes these women eligible to participate in the Goucher Prison Education Partnership, allowing these students to pursue college degrees from prison. In November 2015, volunteers were invited to attend a special briefing at Capitol Hill on the impact of criminal justice reforms on women and families, which featured Alicia Keys, Senator Cory Booker, and Van Jones.
During the fall semester our volunteers continued to work closely to support the education programs in our nine partnership facilities. We continued to cultivate relationships with Princeton, Rider, Seton Hall, Rowan, Rutgers and TCNJ. Additionally, we formed a new partnership at Stockton University, which has allowed us to involve correctional facilities in South Jersey. Finally, Montclair State University has begun the process of becoming a Petey Greene Affiliate and we anticipate that they will start tutoring in the coming semester. We have also started a partnership with Isles Youth Institute, a Treton based organization that works with disconnected youth and encourages self-reliance through education. A Regional Field Manager was hired for the New Jersey region who you can read more about in the new staff section. There continues to be high levels of interest from the university partnerships and the NJ Department of Corrections in the Petey Greene Program!