Vote for Pepsi Grant: Ed Major Helps Elementary School Library

By Purnell T. Cropper | July 7, 2010

When Kerry Gibson ’12, a junior Education major at Arcadia University, started her fieldwork at Ellwood Elementary in Philadelphia last semester, she found that the school library needed help. Now she’s reaching out to the Arcadia community to join the effort to help the local school—by voting for the project on the Pepsi Refresh website.

“This past semester I started a project to help Ellwood Elementary, the Philadelphia school where I was placed for Education fieldwork. The school’s library needs to be completely renovated, so to raise materials and funds I conducted a community-wide book drive, partially based on Arcadia’s campus, as well as a Barnes & Noble-sponsored book fair,” Gibson says.  

“I have been trying to apply for a Pepsi Refresh grant for $25,000 to go toward renovations for the school library, and my idea has finally been accepted and posted for voting. Only the top 10 vote-getters on each level receive grants.”

Voting on Gibson’s proposal runs through the end of July. The Pepsi Refresh website describes Ellwood as “a secret gem” in the School District of Philadelphia that needs some help to truly shine. “The principal, faculty, and staff are dedicated to improving the students’ lives and inspiring them to reach their highest potential, but the school lacks some necessary resources.”

Gibson’s goals for the project are:

  • 1,000 new books to replace the outdated, unusable books in Ellwood’s library
  • Furniture–including desks, benches, tables, and comfy chairs–to renovate the library and create an inviting, child-oriented atmosphere
  •  Technology to advance the students’ learning and organize the library