Wilco Electronics Systems, a private cable and technology company has expanded into the education sector.
Wilco has launched Knick Knack Learning – a new technology company that is piloting an affordable tablet solution within select K-8 charters schools and public schools throughout Philadelphia.
“It is starting out a tablet project pilot that will really help to bridge the educational divide with the school district through affordable mobile devices and specialized educational research and math aptitude content,” said Brigitte Daniel, executive vice president at Wilco and CEO of Knick Knack Learning.
The company’s tablet project was officially launched during an informational event held last Thursday at Independence Charter School.
“Through the partnership with University of Pennsylvania and Eisenhower Fellowships, Wilco is now continuing its long history of providing low-cost technology to underserved communities,” said Daniel.
“Knick Knack Learning will change the landscape within urban schools by offering affordable one-to-one learning devices along with researched proven educational content to help K-8 students understand math and science through a more engaged and focused manner.”
Knick Knack Learning will provide a software platform to facilitate engagement between administrators, teachers, students and parents while tracking and assessing student performance and usability.
With help from Dr. Christine Massey, director of research and education at the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, University of Pennsylvania; Insight Learning Technology, Inc. and Jarvus Innovations, Knick Knack Learning tablets will feature specialized content that will address students’ specific educational math and science needs while aligning with current national and state specific benchmarks. The content will address achievement gaps in the classroom by using gaming software techniques to improve scores on standardized tests.
“What we’re exciting about is this really has the potential to literally put at children’s finger tips really powerful modes of learning that haven’t been in classrooms before,” Massey said in regard to the tablet project.
Independence Charter School Teacher Lynn Eckerman said that both students and teachers were excited about using the new technology in the classroom.
“As teachers we jump at any opportunity to get technology in front of students because we automatically gain their interest and motivation to work on the material (that) some of them may not necessarily be interested in,” said Eckerman.
“As teachers, we’re really excited about the differentiation that this software allows. Students will be able to work at their own pace and on the skills that to really need to be practicing.”
The tablet project is an outgrowth of an Eisenhower Fellowship that Daniel received in 2011. She traveled to Southeast Asia to learn how emerging technology could benefit the urban marketplace. The Eisenhower Fellowship Organization provided $25,000 in seed funding for the project.
The Knick Knack Learning pilot will take place at five schools including Independence Charter School, Richard Allen Preparatory Charter Academy, Pan American Academy Charter School, Global Leadership Academy and Penrose Elementary School. The pilot project, which runs now through summer 2013, will engage approximately 200 students in the fifth and sixth grades.
After the pilot project has been completed, Daniel anticipates that they will be able to offer the tablets to more schools throughout Philadelphia and beyond the city. While Knick Knack officials are still developing a pricing structure for the tablets, Daniel said they will retail at about $200 per unit.
Wilco was founded in 1977 and is now the largest privately African American owned cable provider in the Philadelphia area. A few years ago, the company decided to transition from a cable provider into a technology firm.
The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and Verizon are gearing up for the region’s inaugural Small Business Week.
The week, which will be observed May 13-17, celebrates and recognizes the contributions of the Greater Philadelphia region’s more than 150,000 small businesses.
2013 Small Business Week will feature a series of events allowing small-business owners to gain insights to better run their business and opportunities to network.
“Small and local businesses are the foundation of our region’s economy,” said Rob Wonderling, president and CEO of the GPCC.
“The chamber is dedicated to facilitating a business-friendly climate that allows owners and entrepreneurs to grow and create jobs. We look forward to celebrating the success of the region’s small businesses throughout this week.”
The week kicks off with a workshop titled “Delivering Exceptional Customer Service” that will be held May 14 from 8 to 10 a.m. at GPCC offices, 200 South Broad Street, #700. The panel discussion will focus on the best techniques to connect with clients and deliver exceptional customer service. The workshop is free for chamber members and $35 for non-members.
A webinar titled “Defining Your Don’t Quit Attitude – For Business Owners” will be held May 15 at 2 p.m. The webinar, part of the Verizon Live Business Webinar series, will be accessible anywhere there is broadband access. Participants can register online at www.verizon.com/webinar.
A keynote event will be held May 17 from 8 to 10 a.m. at WHYY Studios, 150 North Sixth Street. Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On will deliver the week’s keynote program, “Create Contagious Content for Your Business.” Berger, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, studies social epidemics, or how products, ideas and behaviors catch on and become popular. The registration fee for the event is $45 for chamber members and $90 for non-members.
As part of the Small Business Week celebration, Verizon “Street Team” events will be held at various locations across the city. Verizon representatives will promote the Small Business Week activities.
“We’re excited to help bring this first-ever, week-long celebration to the greater Philadelphia region to bring together small businesses in this market, provide them with resources and encourage their growth. At Verizon, many of our customers are small-business owners, and we are committed to providing the latest solutions and resources that will help advance their business,” said Tim Smith, Verizon region president of consumer and mass business markets for Pennsylvania and Delaware and member of the chamber’s executive board.
Every year since 1963, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
To register for GPCC Small Business Week activities visit www.gpcc.com/smallbizwk.
Arthur Hopkins Jr. was a former union shop steward. He died on Wednesday, May 1, 2013. He was 85.
He was born April 29, 1928 to Arthur and Gladys Hopkins in Philadelphia. He was the oldest of three children. Hopkins attended Philadelphia public schools and subsequently earned an electrician’s license.
He worked at Burkhardt Mechanical as a supervisor and the University of Pennsylvania as a custodian and union shop steward. At the University of Pennsylvania he was instrumental in securing the presence of the Teamster’s union for the custodial staff. He worked there until he retired in 1993.
Hopkins married Frances Elizabeth Farmer on Jan. 5, 1953. From the union six children were born – Arthur Anthony, Richard Keith, Gregory Bruce, Melinda Gladys, Lawrence and Nancy.
He was a sports enthusiast and an avid bike rider. He enjoyed listening and making music and had an extensive collection of jazz music.
“He worked hard to instill in his children the importance of diligence and perseverance,” his family said. “His competitive spirit was reflected in how he lived life until he was no longer able.”
Although Hopkins could be very stern, his family said he had a playful side that was demonstrated in his yearly Christmas model train construction project.
In 2008, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and fought valiantly to maintain his independence.
“Even though the disease prevented him from communicating with us verbally, he was still able to show us when he was pleased or frustrated. His strong presence was evident even in the midst of his silence and limited mobility and his quiet strength will always be remembered,” his family said.
Hopkins was preceded in death by his parents, younger brother, William and his oldest son Anthony.
In addition to his wife of 60 years and five children, he is survived by his brother, Bernard; daughters–in-law, Nina, Tina, Ingrid; sons-in-law Alexander, Harold; grandchildren, Kevin, Faith, LaVaughn, Morgan, Lindsay, Brittany, Lauren, Kyra, Caleb, Marcellus; great grandchildren, Isis, Gregory, Hailey, Darryl, Anthony; and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held May 9 at Sharon Baptist Church, 3955 Conshohocken Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Fernwood Cemetery.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Walmart and Walmart Foundation donated more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind contributions last fiscal year, marking the first time the retailer has achieved this level of giving.
According to Walmart officials, the growth in global giving was largely due to increased in-kind donations in the U.S. to local food banks and families impacted by disasters.
“At Walmart, we try to do our part to help support the communities we serve,” said Philip Serghini, director of community affairs, Walmart Stores.
“We do that by using the strengths of our business to address issues that matter most nationwide and locally, including areas like healthy living, job training, and hunger relief.”
In Pennsylvania, Walmart gave more than $19.7 million, supporting programs and nonprofits like Philabundance, the Urban League of Philadelphia, Cradles to Crayons, Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, Dress for Success Philadelphia, the Philly Police Athletic League, Philadelphia Youth Network, Klein JCC/Meals on Wheels, NAACP Philadelphia, LISC Philadelphia, Esperanza USA, Clean Air Council and the Free Library of Philadelphia.
In 2010, Walmart announced a historic $2 billion commitment of cash and in-kind gifts to hunger relief organizations in the U.S. through 2015.
In Pennsylvania, Walmart donated 8.8 million pounds of food to local food banks—nearly 7.35 million meals in the last fiscal year, contributing to the 351 million meals contributed to local food banks across America. The retailer and its foundation has partnered with Philabundance in Pennsylvania to support its Grocers Against Hunger program with direct and in-kind donations.
“Walmart has been a longtime partner in the fight against hunger and continually helps Philabundance fulfill our mission in many different ways,” said Bill Clark, president and executive director of Philabundance.
“Since 2010, Walmart stores across the Delaware Valley have donated more than 1.25 million pounds of food to Philabundance through the Grocers Against Hunger program, which enables local grocers to donate nutritious, perishable food that would otherwise be discarded. That is more than 1.25 million meals that our neighbors would have otherwise gone without. We couldn’t be more grateful to Walmart for everything they do in the fight against hunger.”
“The Y is proud of our partnership with the Walmart Foundation. Together, we were able to provide hundreds of youth in our communities access to free, healthy meals during the summer months,” said John F. Flynn, president & CEO, Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA.
“At the Y, we encourage children to stay active while having fun throughout the summer and proper nutrition is required for them to learn, grow and thrive. Our partnership with Walmart allowed more youth to enjoy nutritious snacks and grow stronger and healthier this past year.”
“At The Urban League of Philadelphia, we strive to provide individuals with the tools they need to re-enter the workforce through education and personal coaching. This requires trained staff and up-to-date technology. Walmart’s sustained commitment of support to the ULP empowers hundreds of job seekers every year to find jobs that pay a living wage – often at Walmart stores. We at The Urban League are inspired by our Walmart partnership,” said Patricia Coulter, president and CEO of The Urban League of Philadelphia.
On May 9, the Walmart Foundation will donate $100,000 to the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia. The donation will support the Salvation Army’s new Peer Mentoring Program which is based upon the successful Witnesses to Hunger program partnership at the Drexel University School of Public Health.
Walmart’s global contributions for last fiscal year include $1.9 million in grants to Share Our Strength to provide 122,000 families with the skills and resources they need to prepare healthy, affordable meals; $4.9 million towards first responders, $106.4 million in cash and in-kind gifts given by Sam’s Club and San’s Club Giving Program. The retailer also gave more than 351 million meals to local food banks through Feeding America, helped 3,600 small business owners get training and provided grants to nonprofit partners that enabled 265 small business loans.
In addition to the more than $1 billion from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, Walmart and Sam’s Club customers and associates around the world raised $156.3 million for local organizations such as the Salvation Army and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. During the 2012 holiday season alone, Walmart associates and customers in the U.S. raised nearly $45 million during the Red Kettle campaign to benefit local chapters of the Salvation Army, accounting for more than 30 percent of the organization’s Red Kettle fundraising. Walmart associates and customers also raised more than $51 million for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals last fiscal year.
Donald L. Mullett held a number of positions in higher education.
Mullett died on Friday, April 19, 2013. He was 84.
He was born on April 10, 1929 to Festus and Josephine Mullett. He was the youngest of four children. He grew up in New York City where he was a member of Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Family values were important to him. His family said he talked about how lovingly strict his father was and how his mother could stretch a dollar during the Great Depression.
All of this, he said, helped him appreciate the blessings and good fortune he attained in life.
He attended New York City public schools and graduated from Commerce High School in 1947.
Mullett served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was honorably discharged.
He received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Lincoln University and went on to earn a master’s in business administration from New York University and a doctor of philosophy in urban economics from the University of Delaware.
One of the highlights of Mullett’s life was to return to his alma mater Lincoln University in Pennsylvania to serve as comptroller, business manager, vice president of fiscal affairs and eventually interim president.
He also served as vice president of finance and fiscal affairs at Texas Southern University, Houston; vice president of fiscal affairs at Jarvis Christian College, Hawkins, Texas; vice president of fiscal affairs, interim president, Cheyney University, West Chester and interim president, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Mo.
Mullett also served on the board of trustees at Lincoln University, and Oakwood University, Huntsville, Ala. He then retired to Pearland, Texas.
He was a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and the Beta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Mullett enjoyed jazz and reading about its history. He had an extensive music library and had amassed more than 2,000 compact discs of many great jazz artists. His favorite was Duke Ellington.
In addition to his parents, Mullett was preceded in death by his sisters, Marjorie Eloise, Barbara Edwina, Monica May and nephew, Lawrence V. Gooden.
He is survived by his wife, Mildred; daughters, Barbara Louise Mullett, Donna Mullett King; stepchildren, David James and Lisa James; grandchildren, Courtney King, Monica King, Mikaela James and Shelbi James; nieces, Lynne Peterson Cummins and Diane Gooden House; nephews, Lloyd Vaughn Peterson and Warren Gooden; great nieces, Kelli Owens, Shelli Owens, Lauren Owens Jones and Mulea Wambua; great nephews, Jamal Lloyd Johnson, Brandon House, Amon Gooden, Brandon Gooden and other relatives and friends.
Services were held April 29 at Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Church, 101 West 123rd Street, New York, N.Y.
Clayton Funeral and Cemetery Services handled the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his memory to: Presidential Scholarship Fund of Lincoln University, 150 Baltimore Pike, Lincoln University, PA 19352.