Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chester Upland School of the Arts to Terminate Partnership with CUSD to Form New Charter School

For Immediate Release from via Dr. John Alston in regards to CUSA
Contact: Maurice Eldridge 610-328-8312


Chester, PA (September 1, 2011) The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts, a private foundation also known as The Chester Fund, announced today that it plans to apply to open a charter school in the Chester Upland School District, which includes the City of Chester, Chester Township and Upland Borough.

In 2008, The Chester Fund (TCF) formed a partnership with the Chester School district to create the Chester Upland School of the Arts (CUSA), with TCF providing private funds for arts and technology programming as well as teaching assistants in every grade and an extended-day program for the older children. This year CUSA will serve 275 Chester children in Kindergarten through 5th grade. The proposed charter school would ultimately serve students in Kindergarten through 12th grade, building on the successes of CUSA.

This spring, CUSA achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment Test (PSSA) for the second year in a row. Thanks to superlative teachers, the school’s 4th graders made a 20% gain in reading proficiency and 15% gain in math, improving on their results as 3rd graders last year.

Unfortunately, over the summer CUSA was ravaged by massive reductions in the school district budget as a result of the state government’s cuts in education funding. In the wake of these events, CUSA’s educational programs have been compromised and all but two of the classroom teachers have been laid off due to teacher-union seniority rules. This inability to protect staff and programming was the key reason TCF decided to terminate the partnership, effective the end of the current school year (June 2012), and apply to open a charter school.

“We deeply appreciate the partnership we’ve had with the district over the last three years, but also realize that to continue educating Chester children, we have to be able to design our own programs and hire and keep the best teachers,” said TCF and CUSA founder Dr. John Alston. “The only way to accomplish this is to apply for a charter.” “The children’s education must come first,” added Maurice Eldridge, TCF Board Chair. “We are saddened by what has happened, but we are excited about our future charter school.”

The new charter school, to be called the Chester Charter School for the Arts, will open in September 2012 pending approval of the charter application. The school will welcome students in grades K-6, and any child in the district will be eligible to attend.

The Chester Fund for Education and the Arts, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization founded by Swarthmore College music professor John Alston, is dedicated to providing Chester’s
disadvantaged children with a first-rate, arts-enriched education that will prepare them for college
and success in life. Dr. Alston is also the Founder and Director of the acclaimed 120-voice
Chester Children’s Chorus. Maurice Eldridge, Vice President of College and Community
Relations at Swarthmore College, chairs The Chester Fund Board of Directors.


Chester, PA -- Due to the rainy weather last month, the Chester Recreation Department has rescheduled several of its summer concerts. The free concert series hosts a variety of musical talent with performances from 5:00-9:00 pm in Ethel Waters Park on the banks of Chester Creek located at Edgmont Avenue & Route 291.
Sunday, September 4 - Point Blank Band
Sunday, September 11 - The Solution
Sunday, September 18 - Five of God's Children
and a special performance by poet, Ieasa Nichols Harmon
These musical events are free and open to the public, and are a part of Mayor and Council's ongoing efforts to provide quality cultural and entertainment programs for residents and visitors in the City of Chester.  For more information about the series, residents can contact Wanda Mann or Councilwoman Marrea Walker-Smith at 610-447-7725.
Please join us to celebrate the end of summer 2011. See you in park!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Widener Ranks Among Best Colleges for America

(Tuesday, August 30, 2011) Chester, Pa. – Widener University ranks in the top 10 in service and 55th overall among national universities in the 2011 Washington Monthly College Guide, which ranks colleges and universities based on their contributions to the public interest.

Widener was one of only two national universities in the Philadelphia area named in the top 100. The University of Pennsylvania ranks 21st.

Unlike U.S. News & World Report ranking, Washington Monthly ranks individual schools based on their tangible contributions to the public interest: on the degree to which they recruit and graduate low-income students, produce PhDs and research, and encourage students to serve in ROTC, the Peace Corps and other service programs. Institutions are ranked on three criteria: social mobility, research and service.

The “service” category, in which Widener ranks ninth, is based on the number of alumni who serve in the Peace Corps, the percentage of students in ROTC, the percentage of federal work-study money that goes to community service, the number of students participating in community service and the number of service hours performed, and the school’s rank on a combined measure of the number of staff supporting community service, the number of academic courses that incorporate service, and whether the institution provides scholarships for community service.

Widener University has ranked among the top 100 institutions in the annual Washington Monthly rankings since the magazine’s inaugural college issue in 2005. Widener University President James T. Harris III said that Widener’s consistent ranking in the guide represents the university’s strong commitment to civic engagement.

“The way we measure the success of our graduates is similar to the philosophy that Washington Monthly uses to rank colleges and universities,” Harris said. “Washington Monthly asks what colleges are doing for the country. Widener asks how we can prepare students to serve our communities and our nation. We believe that is the true measure of the success of an institution.”

Chester's Rondae Jefferson to represent the USA in Italy this September

Representing the USA at the Boys 3x3 Youth World Championship are Shaqquan Aaron (Top Left), Rondae Jefferson (Top Right), Jordan Swopshire (Bottom Left) and Malik Price-Martin (Bottom Right). Photos By Steven Maikoski

From Chester Clippers:

USA Boys 3x3 Youth World Championship Team Announced

-- FIBA 1st Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship To Be Held From Sept. 9-11 In Rimini, Italy 
Following the success of the 3x3 tournament at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games and FIBA’s (International Basketball Federation) recent announcement that it will conduct the FIBA 1st Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship for players 18 years old and younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1993) from Sept. 9-11 in Rimini, Italy, USA Basketball announced the four players who will comprise the USA Boys 3x3 Team for the event. 

“There’s no question that 3x3 international basketball competition has great potential and the success of the 3x3 competition at last summer’s Youth Olympic Games in Singapore is a perfect example,” said USA Basketball CEO/Executive Director Jim Tooley. “USA Basketball applauds FIBA for taking another step in developing a worldwide 3x3 competition and we look forward to working with FIBA in expanding 3x3 international competitions and growing the game as a whole.” 

Selected to represent the USA boys 3x3 squad were four members of 2011-12 USA Basketball Developmental National Team: Shaqquan Aaron (Taft H.S./Apple Valley, Calif.), Rondae Jefferson (Chester H.S./Chester, Pa.), Malik Price-Martin (Monsignor Edward Pace H.S./ Miami, Fla.), and Jordan Swopshire (SportsQuest Academy, Richmond, Va./Ofallon, Mo.). 

Both the USA boys and girls 3x3 teams will train Sept. 3-5 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The draw and game schedule for the 1st Invitational 3x3 Youth World Championship will be announced by FIBA at a later date. 

The 3x3 Youth World Championship boys competition will feature 36 teams that will be divided into four preliminary round groups consisting of nine teams each. The first four finishing teams from each group will advance to the eighth finals, with the winners advancing on to the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.

Boys teams expected to participate include Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, England, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Guam, India, Italy, Jordan, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, Nepal, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, South Africa, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, Serbia, Spain, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, USA and Venezuela. 

Under FIBA’s 3x3 rules, each game will consist of two 5:00 periods, with one 1:00 overtime period if needed. If the game is still tied after the first overtime, a second and final overtime is played and the first team to score two points wins. The team leading after completion of regular playing time, or the first team to score 21 points, will be declared the winner. Shots made outside the 3-point line are awarded two points, shots made inside the 3-point line are awarded one points, and each made free throw is worth one point. Additionally, a 12-second shot clock will be utilized. 

For Original Source Click Here

Monday, August 29, 2011

Crozer Library Seeks Chester Authors for Local Author Expo

Press Release from Crozer Library:

Chester, PA — August 29 — Are you a Chester author, an aspiring author, or interested in finding out about talented local writers? Mark your calendars for the Local Author Expo at the J. Lewis Crozer Library, on Saturday, October 1st from 11:00a.m. to 1:30p.m. Beginning at 11:00a.m., Ms. Sheilah Vance, author, president, and CEO of The Elevator Group publishing company, will present a workshop on book publishing.

Immediately following the presentation, Chester authors and interested patrons are invited to a Local Author Meet and Greet from noon to 1:30p.m. Chester authors can drop in to network with other local authors and share tips and strategies.

Published Chester authors, contact Kim Braun at (610) 494-3454, x204 to register for a brief time slot to speak about yourself and your writing projects during the Meet and Greet.

Crozer Library is located at 620 Engle Street in Chester. Find us on Facebook at

Sunday, August 28, 2011


The Chester Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is asking all residents to curtail unnecessary travel through the streets of the City of Chester.

As Hurricane Irene continues to bear down on the Delaware Valley, the gradually increasing winds and rain will lead to flooding and hazardous road conditions throughout the City of Chester.

Residents are encouraged to stay home to allow emergency vehicles clear access to provide emergency services to residents in need.

If you must travel, please be reminded that standing water may be much deeper than it appears. Traveling through even a minimal amount of standing water may disable your vehicle.


Shelter may be sought at the Showalter Middle School located at 10th & Lloyd Streets. If you should require assistance in getting to the shelter, please call: 610-447-7842.

Thank you for your cooperation and attention to this matter.