03/14/2011
Behind the Scenes
Winter Wine’d Up attracts new corporate friends for Need in Deed

View from the top

The view from the 45th floor of the Comcast Center is nothing short of spectacular. But the audience was looking at (and listening to) Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen and Need in Deed teachers Martha Kutteh, Patrick Kennison and Kathie Wainwright at the “Winter Wine’d Up” hosted by Comcast on February 24th – an event designed to introduce the corporate community to Need in Deed.

In his opening comments David Cohen, who is also boardpresident of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the University of Pennsylvania, sang NID’s praises:

“You cannot find another organization in the City,” he said, “that makes better use of corporate dollars to involve employees in a hands-on way.”

“We feel so very fortunate,” said NID Board president Kim Whetzel, “to have the support and commitment of Comcast and, in particular, to have the endorsement of a civic leader like David Cohen.”

Close to ninety attendees gathered to hear presentations by three members of NID’s Teacher Network.

Martha Kutteh teaches at the Widener Memorial School, the only school in the District that focuses exclusively on the education of students with physical and medical handicaps. She described her upbringing, how rooted in service her life had been because of her parents’ values. She talked about how important it was to her that her students experience the sense of meaning that comes with being active providers of service rather than passive recipients.

Kathie Wainwright, a teacher at Heston Elementary School, expressed appreciation for the resources her students have received as a result of their connection to NID. Their project focuses on gun violence and so NID staff arranged a visit with an FBI agent and a guided tour through Temple University’s trauma unit through their “Cradle to Grave” program. Kathie also likes how these experiences are helping her students discover new ways of seeing the world.

Patrick Kennison, a former Teach for America teacher, teaches science at Harding Middle School. When they were studying DNA, Patrick helped his students make the connection between DNA and wrongful convictions – the topic they’d chosen for their project. He described how his students became completely energized once they saw the impact their project could have on someone’s life.

“Truly inspiring,” were the words uttered by many guests as they headed for the elevators back to the ground floor.