215.226.1276
The Episcopal School in North Philadelphia

Dear Friends of the St. James School Community,

In this time when we are all affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus — directly or indirectly, perhaps physically, biologically, psychologically or spiritually, and for many, economically — it has been heartening to hear from so many of you! I am grateful for your messages of support.

I also am hearing a lot of questions about how St. James School is affected: “How are the students and families doing? and “How can I help?” To answer your questions, I am reaching out by email once a week with a short update.

Needs are adding up quickly! Our families are facing extra levels of anxiety, stress, hardships: sick and hospitalized loved ones, positive COVID-19 test results, reduced work hours, lost jobs, unemployment paperwork, childcare challenges, an increase in neighborhood violence, and additional food costs with everyone at home day and night. See below how you can help.

Our work continues! We are lifting together to support our students and families. We are lending laptops and iPads to families who need them, ensuring that all students have access to technology and internet. Homeroom teachers are in touch with students daily via text, phone, or our online learning platforms. We are providing bags of food to 80+ families per day, and well over 200 individuals meals per day. Our six residential staff are leading the charge.

Teaching and learning continue! We keep striving to make school time fun, even when it is virtual! See a fun rendition of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” or learn how to make chicken noodle soup with Nurse Ayton or hear Ms. John’s organization tips. Kudos to our creative, resilient staff, who are taking advantage of YouTube, Google Classroom and other platforms to keep our students engaged from home.

Our prayer continues! At 7:30 am each day, the residential staff gathers for Mass at the Church of St. James the Less. We pray for our students and families, and in thanksgiving for you. At 8:00 am, everyone gathers via Zoom for prayer. Each day ends with Compline.

Your generosity continues! Thank you to the many individuals and churches who have purchased items from our Amazon Wish List, dropped off food, and made donations to help keep our operations going, including Di Bruno Bros. See photos below.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

  • Pray for our students, families, and staff
  • Send needed items to St. James from our Amazon Wish List
  • Make an online donation to support our street food program: $30 (box of oranges), $75 (case of chicken), $190 (case of cereal), $575 (1-day sponsorship of food), $4,000 (1-week sponsorship of food)
  • Deliver food directly to St. James School or drop off at St. Christopher’s Church (226 Righters Mill Rd, Gladwyne, PA 19035). Large plastic bins marked “St. James School” are under the cloister walk between the school building and the church.
  • Share an idea for how to spread joy to our families. Let me know by replying to this email or call me at 215.226.1276 x108.
  • Follow us on Facebook to hear more updates

Thank you for looking out for us. Please also look out for your neighbors, for each other, and for yourselves. We will get through this together by responding to each other’s needs and to our own needs. Let’s pray for each other.

God Bless You,

David Kasievich
Head of School

P.S. The St. James School 5K run, originally scheduled for April 25th, is postponed. Stay tuned for our new date.

Father Andrew Kellner, school chaplain, and Annie Lerew, math teacher, converse – from a safe distance – with a St. James graduate who stopped by one of the tables set up outside our school.

Some of the many food donations that have been coming in from generous individuals and churches. It looks like a lot, but supplies are depleted quickly because the need in our neighborhood is great.

Our friends from Di Bruno Bros. helping to fill a truck full of pasta and sauce that the company donated to help us feed our students, families, and neighbors in Allegheny West.