Rotary Club helps fund Frankford’s newly painted gym

City Year Great­er Phil­adelphia re­cently painted a Frank­ford High School gym, and the vo­lun­teers re­ceived a big boost from the Rotary Club of Frank­ford-North­east.

The rotary club presen­ted the agency with a Visa deb­it card worth $540.

Thuy Le and Donna Her­ring ac­cep­ted the dona­tion at the rotary club’s March 12 meet­ing. They used the gift to buy paint, rollers and T-shirts for stu­dent par­ti­cipants.

Frank­ford’s third-floor gym was dark, and the paint was peel­ing. It got a much-needed paint job from March 25-27, when the school was closed for spring break. City Year mem­bers were joined by more than 40 stu­dents, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the school’s ROTC. The paint job in­cluded mur­als with in­spir­a­tion­al say­ings.

Fif­teen City Year rep­res­ent­at­ives are as­signed to Frank­ford this school year. It’s the second year in a row that the or­gan­iz­a­tion has been at Frank­ford.

The City Year mem­bers fo­cus their at­ten­tion on the ABCs — at­tend­ance, be­ha­vi­or and course per­form­ance. They work with stu­dents, usu­ally fresh­men, who are strug­gling aca­dem­ic­ally, have poor at­tend­ance re­cords and have been sus­pen­ded. They of­fer as­sist­ance in­side and out­side the classroom and provide after-school tu­tor­ing.

The na­tion­al edu­ca­tion-based non­profit group has a pres­ence in 20 schools in the Phil­adelphia area.

Mean­while, the guest speak­er at the March 12 meet­ing was Jared So­lomon, a law­yer and U.S. Army Re­serve mem­ber who is pres­id­ent of the Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood civic as­so­ci­ation.

So­lomon ex­plained that his civic group at­tracts about 50 people to its monthly meet­ings. The group fo­cuses on the 19111 and 19149 ZIP codes in the Castor Gar­dens area.

The civic lead­er told the crowd that his group ad­dresses prob­lems head on. When a mem­ber com­plained about dog dirt on his prop­erty, So­lomon spoke to the pet’s own­er. When mem­bers com­plained about prob­lems with stu­dents at Gil­bert Spru­ance Ele­ment­ary School, civic lead­ers con­tac­ted the prin­cip­al and a 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict su­per­visor.

Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood has es­tab­lished a youth bas­ket­ball league, a flower-ar­ran­ging class and a knit­ting club. A com­munity garden is planned this spring for the grounds out­side Max My­ers Play­ground.

The group col­lec­ted 500 sig­na­tures in a suc­cess­ful cam­paign to get the city to place trash cans along the Castor Av­en­ue and Bustleton Av­en­ue com­mer­cial cor­ridors. It also holds reg­u­lar sum­mer cleanups.

“The streets look bet­ter,” So­lomon said.

Also, the group would like to help bring new equip­ment to Max My­ers.

“I don’t think the place has been touched since the ’70s,” So­lomon said.

The rotary mem­bers hope the spir­it of Take Back Your Neigh­bor­hood spreads across the North­east.

“We need more Jareds,” said mem­ber Mar­garet Kelly, Holy Fam­ily Uni­versity’s rotary rep­res­ent­at­ive.

The Rotary Club of Frank­ford-North­east meets every Tues­day for lunch from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. at Cannstat­ter’s, at 9130 Academy Road. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­

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