Need in Deed’s two-day Shout Out 2023 showcased the love and excitement at Arch Street Meeting House last month, when the community came together to celebrate the hard work of everyone in attendance. Walking in, everyone was greeted with a red and white balloon arch, fairy lights, tables displaying classroom posters, and a sign saying “Welcome to Shout Out.” The two-day event highlighted the knowledge discovered and shared amongst more than 200 students, teachers, and community partners. Student ambassadors showcased their work on an array of community issues—gun violence, animal cruelty, mental health, homelessness, racism, and addiction— and showcased the skills and knowledge learned. Shout Out 2023 embodies the slogan of “connecting the classroom with the community” through nearly 40 posters on display between the two days.
The Shout Out is the culmination of the year’s work and implementation of the My VOICE framework in classrooms across Philadelphia. MyVOICE allows students and teachers to Value their voice, Open the issue, Identify their project, Conduct meaningful service, and Evaluate and celebrate. At the 2023 Shout Out, students zipped around the room taking in all the projects and conversing with their peers on the work exhibited. They wrote comments on heart-shaped sticky notes for other class posters, such as “This is very important.” and “Thank you for caring about the environment.” Students beamed with excitement to see their community partners handing them awards for their creative and informative work.
Everyone was entranced in conversations hearing the students discuss their issues. Michael Rocco’s eighth-grade class, whose emphasis is teen gun violence in Philadelphia, created journals advocating for everyone to stop gun violence, with articles highlighting how the issues affect teens like them. The students stood together, fighting to spread awareness of teen gun violence in Philadelphia. One of Brooke Silvers-Cohen’s seventh-grade classes tackled school inequity and met with Mayoral candidates. Many other classes held fundraisers for different organizations that are helping to solve the issues researched.
At the close of the Shout Out, each student left Arch Street Meeting House with an apple, a Philly pretzel, and a sense of accomplishment. The future is bright from the power and devotion to social change in Philadelphia’s third-graders to eighth-graders. Thank you to all who attended and to our supporters for recognizing the sense of hope in today’s youth.
By DaCia Newkirk
Need in Deed Summer Intern
For photo albums from each day click below: