Teaching hope


At a cash- and resources-short Southwest Philadelphia school, teachers and staff do more than educate. They feed, they clothe, they beg, they cheerlead – all to help give disadvantaged students a future.

The tiny girl walked into the Mitchell Elementary School counselor’s office dressed only in pants and a tank top. Outside, it was 39 degrees.

“My teacher sent me to get a sweater,” she whispered. “I’m cold.”

Nancy Hoover, the counselor at the school in Southwest Philadelphia, didn’t blink. She fished something warm from one of her beat-up filing cabinets.

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