Our First Priority | Project HOME

Our First Priority

  • Miss Tee (right) with Vernette Jones (left) and Helen Brown.
    Miss Tee (right) with Vernette Jones (left) and Helen Brown.
"If we take care of the children now, they will take care of us later."

Several members of the Project HOME community participated in “100% Philadelphia,” a theater piece that was part of the Philadelphia Fringe Arts Festival.  One hundred different Philadelphians, representing the overall demographics of the city, shared their stories.  One of the participants was Priscilla "Ms. Tee" Bennett, who is teacher of the 2nd and 3rd graders at our Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs.

Hey, my name is Tee what gets the job done.  I’m a Lead Teacher for kindergarten and first grade, and I’m a community activist and liaison. I’m happiest when I’m with the children. I was a counselor even when I was younger.

I cook well, especially soups and stews. I cook a lot of turkey for funeral repasts in the neighborhood and use the carcasses to make soup. My children don’t like soup, so I’ll take it to work or to Project HOME’s hub for homeless people on cold days.

My neighborhood was like a combat zone – a father, brother, cousin, or someone would be killed biweekly – but it’s a lot better now. Most of the people who were into the violence have been put in jail. We have gone to Harrisburg and City Hall with Moms Against Guns to protest the violence. I value the relationship building we as a community have done with the local politicians, other community members, and police.

I don’t want to be mixed up with people who suck the life out of the community and don’t put anything back in – like a corner store selling processed food or people cutting program from schools – or with people who misdiagnose or mislabel kids. If you catch kids young and give them right resources, they can do anything anyone else can. All of our children should be our first priority. If we take care of them now, they will take care of us later.

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Posted on 10/28/14