Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia awarded $25,000 education grant to support inter-generational connections and early childhood education

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., joined the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia to announce a PA Department of Education grant. The grant will help to fund the Refugee Legacies: Community-Driven Education Initiative, which will allow CAGP to expand its inter-generational programming and enhance its innovative after-school programming with community partners to respond to the evolving educational landscape.

“I’m excited that these grant dollars are already making a difference in the lives of CAGP families in South Philadelphia,” Fiedler said. “It’s exciting to see the work CAGP is doing to bring different generations together and to connect each to their shared heritage and culture.”

Rex Yin, children and youth director of CAGP, agreed that the grant dollars are vital. “This grant shows the commitment Representative Fiedler and our community have to work together to support refugee and immigrant communities that have been impacted and further marginalized during the pandemic,” he said. During the last 20 years, the Cambodian community has grown in both South Philadelphia and North Philadelphia. As the number of families with young children increased in South Philadelphia, CAGP has responded by locating their pre-kindergarten and after-school programming there.

CAGP brought on a Refugee Legacies Program coordinator to support refugees during the pandemic and beyond, thanks to the grant. Yin said the dollars also allowed the organization to implement online summer programming for more than 40 children and has continued to integrate inter-generational and cultural connections in its work with community members born abroad and brought to the collective consciousness.

The grant has also helped CAGP support families by connecting them to food, housing and digital services.

“We were worried about budget cuts. But this grant allowed us to increase services and programming when needed instead of reducing them. We are launching new initiatives to address the changing landscape of education with on-demand virtual seminars on kindergarten readiness, preparing for a new school year and digital learning,” Yin said.

In early September, Fiedler toured the CAGP location on South 7th Street to see firsthand some of the grant dollars at work. She also got to greet pre-K teachers and students. CAGP will implement the grant through December 2021.