Clydesdale - ...Learning about Employment

Good Shepherd welcomes the Clyde Corporation, (a non-profit, soon to  be a 501(c)(3)), (see its website at, to use its facilities for its CLYDE - Community Leadership & Youth Development Enterprise - programs for providing occupational orientation to youth MUCH earlier than is presently, if ever, the case.  Since most  youths "drop out" -- or are kicked out, expelled, especially intercity males,  of school in, during or after the 9th grade, it makes sense to begin a program to prevent this dropout well before the 9th grade.  Like beginning even as early as the 5th grade.  (In years past, "vocational education" was on "track" for youths, especially hyperactive (HDHD) males, but with "education" almost completely captured by  "academics" and "vocational education" seriously depreciated, then eliminated most vocational education, like automotive, machine shop, drafting, landscaping (which included creating rain gardens), etc -- especially with the "overemphasis?" on "standardized test scores" (i.e. "teaching the text" -- if not downright cheating in reading, math and science if teacher compensation is based upon test scores).

Since the Clyde Corporation encourages experimentation and creative additions and alternatives, PhillyGoodShepherd seeks to add a few creative wrinkles to the basic Clyde program that we believe can become a model that can synergistic integrate in Philadelphia two somewhat separate thrusts of the the Clyde program -- public service and involvement -- with "technology" that is not just "horsing around" with the Clydesdale name for its System of Dropout Alternative Learning & Employment.  (But perhaps more that just what goes on at Good Shepherd is our design of this as a model which can -- and will -- be duplicated, not only exclusively in churches that, like Good Shepherd, have basketball courts, but hopefully with a Seniors Skills and Athletic Corps, open up close public schools basketball courts especially for youth at risk.

(Good Shepherd was, and is, with it's 4 separate classrooms, basketball gym, computer classroom and computer lab, community rooms with performance facilities is perhaps uniquely  positioned to conceive and help design such a Clydesdale program, since it has previously been the home for four other earlier pioneering programs:
  • Years ago with science overflow classes from Lamberton High School,
  • Overflow classes for the world famous Overbook School for the Blind,
  • Overbrook Presbyterian's after-school, Sports and Learning program, using a dozen Good Shepherd-supplied computers
  • Creating and staffing a 15- Computer Laboratory, as a-block-away Annex for Cassidy Academics Plus's dwindling Pre-K and Kindergarten program, serving as its "Annex."
While our facilities are now more heavily used than ever, PhillyGoodShepherd, can still get such a program "off the ground and running" before we may happily turn the Clydesdale program over to a facility (perhaps 4 to 6 times its size) when the pilot program proves successful.  Clydesdale can best be understood by taking a few examples, all of which are to be organized around video, or picture, camera-phones, (e.g. iPhone), and YouTube, the Internet and Google, (perhaps all within the context of MLK (365) 2010/11.  All of which have a significant African American model male component.)

(A shocking number of "these" kids already have, not just cheap cell phones, but increasingly smart camera-phones, (like the Apple iPhone or Google Android).  And more will be getting them.  (Sadly, so do drug dealers have cell phones -- which also makes them a "media" for recruiting drug runners.  We all also know that the Internet is laced with pornography; so the least we can do is to encourage constructive and beneficial Internet "iPhone" use.  All these examples call for kids to use camera-phones, the Internet, Google and YouTube to create a model occupational documentation youth-created "curriculum."  The very best way to learn and understand that Clydesdale is not just horsing around, but a truly revolutionary refocusing of education not just directly and exclusively on each individual student, but instead is actually focused on the FAMILY as the educational learning unit, not exclusively on the student -- because each child or youth who "enrolls" does so with a signed contract which both parent(s)/guardian(s) which students must also sign.  The parent MUST participate participate, if not equally, at least significantly in their own right.  Why?

Raingardens for Part-time Youth Income and Employment

One of the most innovative programs in Philadelphia is its pioneering stormwater catchment and treatment program, (see [])Philadelphia, like about 700 other cities, towns and communities in America, has a partial combined underground stormwater and sewage catchment and "treatment" collection "system" that "pipes" both into the sewage treatment facilities, resulting during heavy storms when the water treatment capacity is exceeded the washing of raw sewage into our streams and waterways -- a dirty little secret that 'government' hides from it's citizens, (just as Baltimore did for years with the toxins for the Bethlehem Sparrows Point steel plant -- now closed, and all too many cities and towns still do with the toxins from major employers). 

In decades gone by, young kids used to cut lawns and shovel snow to earn money.  Today, all too many bully younger weaker kinds and steal their money.  Perhaps every bit as bad their parent(s) give them money for nothing, so the kids learn they "owe nothing" in return for what they receive.  (Entitlement mentality?)  While Philadelphia has an "enlightened" program for "commercial" properties that allows them reduce, in fact almost eliminate, expensive storm water "treatment" costs when they divert water from roof downspouts and yard runoff by diverting it into "raingardens" then filter by the earth into our depleted acquafers as much needed water replenishment.

For example, Good Shepherd, with its undivided mini square block between Merlyn Road and N. 65th Street on Lansdowne of 6 land plots of about 20,000 sq.ft. has about 10,000 sq.ft. of impervious surface, consisting mostly of the church building, a small postage stamp parking lot and some "private" sidewalks and steps, for which -- in the bad old days -- it paid only [] a month for stormwater treatment buried in over head as a percentage of now metered, (but for the longest time unmetered), based on the size of the water pipes.  (This meant, unfairly, the large parking lots and garages in downtown Philadelphia with huge amounts of stormwater runoff and no water tap, paid nothing for storm water runoff, and at most with 1/2" or 3/4" water tape, a miniscule amount for stormwater runoff, shifting a huge bouden on to residential customers.

With the aerial survey the allows the measurement and documentation of both previous and impervious surface, all property owners can now be "charged" for only their impervious surfaces, not for their "yards" that allow water to soak in.  Better yet, they can now construct raingardens and divert all their rainwater runoff into underground porous catchment areas -- raingardens -- that feed our depleted acquirers and now Philadelphia antiquated and increasingly broken sewage pipes and washing raw sewage into the Susquehanna and Delaware rivers.  And best of all the ROI (Return On Investment) in constructing raingardens and diverting downspouts with pay for itself the same as any other investment -- if it can be done economically!  This is where PhillyGoodShepherd/Clydesdale can provide an opportunity for youth to not only earn money helping to create raingardens, but can also earn self-respect as well as knowledges and skills that can be used in other vocations and career fields.

Good Shephard has embarked on the construction of 10 or 11 raingrdens to disconnect it's 10 or 11 drain spouts that are presently connected into it 8" church waste lines that "drain" its 10,000 square feet of impervious roof, (the eleventh is a hidden downspout that "drains" a small flat roof balcond

Additionally, every study that has EVER been completed shows a very high correlation  between student performance, good and bad, and parent involvement or lack thereof, good or bad.  Therefore, the parental-part of the contract has parent involvment "programmed" into EVERY Clydesdale module, as demonstrated or hinted at below:

1. "Packaging" from Womb to Tomb
2. Separating Ethics and Morality from Religion.
3. Government "how to" services and cost/benefits.
4. My Budget
5, Jails and the Criminal and Juvenile inJustice nonSystem.

Let's begin with the most challenging and creative.

1.  "Packaging" occupations Womb to Tomb.

The Clydesdale "Packaging from Womb to Tomb" is to provide an introduction to ALL phases of the "packaging" industries, from package conceptualization, to design, to testing, to "manufacture," to shipping, to package use, to product-in-package shipping to distributors then retailers, to package inspection, repair and repackaging, to customer pickup and take home, to opening, to disposition and/or reuse, to disposal as trash in trash bins/garbage cans, to trash pickup and sorting, and finally to shipping to burial, incineration and/or conversion and use as energy fuel, with many special packaging and repackaging for eBay and Amazon, and even "repackaging" in the home asbestos and other unsafe items in the home, such as lead paint, coastic home products away from children and pets, as well as searching for CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls.  We expect this careers matrix to evolve into at 101 or more YouTube student-made videos, many if not most, produced and uploaded to Google base/Market Place/iTunes MP3, (hopefully to result in many high-quality $.49 or $.99 download income generation.

To make the YouTube videos VERY personal, students will be invited/required to "iPhone vidoetape" a number of different types of people opening various "packages," such as their grandmothers frustration (trying?) (struggling?) to open a baker's dozen of their most frequent and important packaged products, such as their medications, canned and bottled products, etc., many of which will involve parental permission and participation.  One additional area of parental participation (and frustration?) will involve camera-phone recording of unpacking and assembly of consumer products in the home, like desks and tables and other furniture, consumer electronics and simple product use, such as "simple" sewing machine applications like sewing on a button, hemming and cuffing skirts and pants, letting in and out waists, etc.  Simple cooking and food preparation will also be "videotaped" as students show interests, and well as "clerking" and staffing "fast food" preparation, -- and the similarities and differences in fast food chains, since the "economics" dictates that some if not many will -- if they are lucky -- find some of their first legal employment there.

Fast Food industry employment, because of its perceived low wages is often looked down upon by streetkids who have "sampled" drug industry employment -- drug running.  What is NEVER calculated is the actual "effective" hourly rate of drug dealing and running -- except a relatively recent study done among drug gangs in Chicago, where when actual total hours spend is recorded and "undocumented" expenditures are also recorded to calculate actual "net" income/profits per hour -- especially when factoring in time spend in jail -- Food service industry "income" turns out to better, in many if not most cases, than "real" drug industry net "profits" after expenditures, (especially when including "shrinkage" as a result of "self-consumption."

Alas, "drug packaging and dealing" is an all too frequent "choice" of all too many young intercity youth -- and even now increasingly suburban youth, -- often as early as 10 or younger as "runners."  Is this "packaging and delivery" employment -- and the drug usage that sometimes, if not often, goes with it -- REALLY as "glamerous" and as remunerative  as it seems to be, when one also considers the participants in the drug culture "gross?"  To paraphrase Bill Clinton, "Its the 'net,' stupid."  But the "annual 'net' income" over a number of years that is the only real ultimate criteria.  And that includes calculating the net real annualized income, after deducting ALL expenses, lawyer's fees, "protection," bondsman fees and forfeiture of bonds, and the $.27 per hour "adjusted earned income" for license plate stamping in prison.  And finally the "opportunity cost" for lost employment at the lowest income "flipping hamburgers and MacDonalds."  "Giving" this figures to young kids is not enough; having the kids find and calculate them for themselves, along with other occupations, is perhaps the best way to drive the point home -- when it is accompanied by iPhoto and iDVD editing of iPhone MP3's for YouTube of the cemetery plots of drug dealers and users "we have known."  And prison visitations of the two murderers of two long-time Overbrook much-loved business men less than 3 blocks from PhillyGoodShepherd and Cassidy Academic Plus Elementary school, one closer to Cassidy, killed by a group of 5 young teenagers, motive robbery, and the earlier murder by a young man in his early 20's who live less than 10 blocks away in "Greater Overbrook/[]"

Sadly, while Overbrook is noway as "saturated" by crime -- according to -- as the neighborhoods immediately east of 63rd Street  which marks the eastern boundary of Overbrook, along Lansdowne,