Our relationships with community partners enrich our programs and allow us to enlarge their scope and reach.
West Chester University
VFES and West Chester University’s Department of Special Education have enjoyed a productive collaboration, creating many professional development opportunities for education students and practitioners in special education with the goal of increasing awareness and understanding of the education of children with special needs. A jointly hosted a conference on “Accommodating Students with Disabilities from High School to the University” in 2009 was well-received and led to a series of subsequent workshops.
HOPE for Kids
The Swamp Creek Environmental Collaborative, a partnership between VFES and HOPE for Kids, was conceived in 2010 as a way to create and deliver environmental-and vocational-education programming for at-risk youth. The Collaborative is based at Camp HOPE for Kids, a 90-acre, wooded property in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, 40 miles northeast of Philadelphia. The site features a river-fed lake and abundant wildlife, and is a beautiful setting for engaging young people in meaningful experiential learning in nature.
Great Valley Nature Center
Great Valley Nature Center has provided educational and recreational components to our summer programs for several years. In summer 2012, the partnership will deepen to include a series of weekend and weeklong camps offered by the center through Summer L.I.F.E. and environmental education activities incorporated into our respite offerings.
Lavner Camps & Programs
Lavner Camps and Programs, a provider of specialized summer camps along the Main Line, began working with Summer Matters in 2010, offering Culinary Arts and Sports camps and adding Computer Programming the next year. Lavner Camps and Programs has offered Culinary Arts and Basketball instruction during Summer Matters’ ESY Programs. In addition, Lavner will offer other programs, open to the community-at-large, on the VFES campus in 2012.