The Mt. Airy CDC announces a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the installation of “The Community Reading Nest,” a new literacy installation for children and their caregivers on the campus of the historic Cliveden homestead at 6401 Germantown Ave. The event will be held on Thursday, August 10 at 10 am and will include speakers, games, music, snacks, book giveaways, and children’s activities. Members of the media and of the general public are invited to attend.

The Nest was created through the Literacy Rich Neighborhood Initiative (LRNI), a program of the Mt. Airy CDC and supported by a grant from the William Penn Foundation. LRNI advances the aims of the citywide grade-level reading campaign spearheaded by Read by 4th, with the goal of getting every child in Philadelphia reading at or above grade level by the end of 3rd grade.

The purpose of LRNI is to create multiple literacy opportunities for families with young children to interact with reading resources, playful learning installations, programming and signage that stimulate adult-child dialogue and literacy skill-building during daily travels in the Mt. Airy and Germantown neighborhoods. The Nest–which was created in partnership with KSS Architects, Playful Learning Landscapes Action Network, Watchdog, and Weston Design & Fabrication Studio–represents the first of these installations in the community.

Designed and fabricated to serve local families, the Nest will inspire and support meaningful literacy experiences between children, their families, and their caregivers. It is a safe and inviting place to share stories, to read and be read to, to play with words, to write and tell stories, and generally to delight in language. 

In its location at Cliveden, the Nest will serve the Mt. Airy-Germantown communities throughout the year, with special support for the Community Summer Reading Camp at Holman Field. Cliveden will also integrate the Nest into its community programming. 

The wooden structure of the Nest, which is designed to look like a bird’s nest found in nature, includes a little free library, multiple seating options, colorful wildlife I-Spy elements, story starters, and an audio listening station. Being outdoors stimulates children’s imaginations and creativity; the natural environment surrounding the Nest and the stories associated with the neighborhood are designed to contribute to their increased curiosity, vocabulary, critical thinking, observational skills, and expanded empathy for others. 

The Nest will serve as a wonderful local destination that is safe, relational, instructional and beautiful.

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