Gary & Lenore, Reading Captains, Reading CHAMPS

Mt. Airy CDC is pleased to announce that it is a 2020 recipient of the William Penn Foundation’s Great Learning grant program. Over the next three years, MACDC will receive $450,000 to launch a Literacy-Rich Neighborhood Initiative in Germantown with collaborative partners at Johnson House Historic Site, Pomona Cherokee Civic Council, Historic Germantown, and Reading Recycled. 

“We’re grateful to the William Penn Foundation for this opportunity to expand our literacy programs and build something important, robust, and tangible,” said Brad Copeland, Mt. Airy CDC’s Executive Director. 

WPF’s Great Learning grants are designed to expand educational opportunities for children and families in Philadelphia, particularly where racial and economic justice issues are of concern. In this regard, the Literacy-Rich project will expand on the work MACDC has done through summer reading camps and reading coaches, and with six public schools in Germantown and Mt. Airy. 

Project goals

Year one of the project will place an emphasis on community outreach and engagement, bringing neighborhood leaders and supporters on board to guide the design. With a plan in place, years two and three will see the buildout of playful learning installations — a Freedom Read & Walk (referencing Johnson House Historic Site, an Underground Railroad station on Germantown Avenue), a Puzzle Wall at Holman Field, where MACDC has hosted reading camps over several summers, a Reading Refuge Arbor, and other new literary assets such as Little Free Libraries, reading chairs and benches, and story stations. Public events and self-guided programs are major parts of the project, too. 

“We’re really excited at Mt. Airy CDC to be able to collaborate with strong, proven organizations and allies who’ve been doing important work in the neighborhood for years,” said Gary King, MACDC’s Literacy & Schools Coordinator, “and to engage the families, children, businesses, and all community stakeholders in co-creating a ‘literacy-rich neighborhood’ for everyone.”

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