Mighty Writers Partners With Penn Medicine To Bring Vaccination to Kennett

Mighty Writers

KENNETT SQUARE, PA — Literacy nonprofit Mighty Writers has partnered with Penn Medicine to bring the vaccine directly to the Spanish-speaking community in Kennett Square, one of five communities Mighty Writers serves in their food and literacy distribution program. Each week, more than 375 families visit Mighty Writers’ distribution site near Kennett, the “Mushroom Capital of the World,” home to immigrant families, farmworkers and mushroom pickers.

Beginning Friday, May 14, Mighty Writers and Penn Medicine will provide the vaccine, as well as bilingual information about the vaccine’s effects, during distribution hours and also from 4-6 pm at Harmony Park, 230 W Harmony Rd in West Grove.

Mighty Writers’ mission is to teach kids, ages 3 to 17, to think and write with clarity so they can achieve success at school, at work and in life. But when COVID-19 forced a closure of its brick-and-mortar five  writing centers, Mighty Writers quickly pivoted to an online format: developing workshops and virtual events for kids and their families. As the shutdown took a toll on the vulnerable communities MW serves, the nonprofit began distributing essential resources, like meals and groceries, to their students and families at five locations throughout the region.

Here in Kennett, Mighty Writers Food and Literacy program is located at West Grove United Methodist Church, where it continues to grow every week, providing over 375 Kennett-area families with meals and other essentials, as well as bilingual literacy materials on a weekly basis to those in need.  As of May, MW distributed one-million diapers, the most in the nation, according to the National Diaper Bank. Providing access and facts about the Covid vaccine to this low-income, Spanish speaking population seemed like a natural progression to the outreach they provide.

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Mighty Writers began serving students in the Kennett Square area in the fall of 2019. The organization is the only nonprofit in Chester County to offer immigrant kids in the region free, high quality, culturally-oriented, bilingual writing programs. Kennett Square, located in Chester County, Pennsylvania, is home to the largest population of Mexican immigrants in the state. In the Kennett Square area (incl. West Grove, Avondale and Oxford), the average household income in the community is $22,000 annually with 10,250 students living in poverty. Nearly half of them live in what’s considered “deep poverty”– an annual household income of $11,775 for a family of four. The overall population of Chester County is 79.4% white and the area is ranked as the 20th wealthiest region in the country.

“The Latinx community is very resistant about having the vaccine because of what they hear on social media”, says Sara Dickens-Trillo, Program Director, MW El Futuro Kennett. “But if we want to go back to normal, whatever that might be, we should take the time to talk about the real impact and side effects of the vaccine and educate this community who trusts us. We need to be able to provide them with the bare essentials of survival before we can get their full attention to start writing.”

For more information, contact: Tim Whitaker / (267) 239-0899 / twhitaker@mightywriters.org.

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