ABOVE PHOTO: Mayor Kenney addresses Community Fair attendees. (Photo courtesy: City of Philadelphia)
On Saturday November 4, the Mayor’s Office of Education and George Washington High School hosted a Community School Fair to reintroduce George Washington High School as a community school. Mayor Jim Kenney was there to welcome attendees and gave brief remarks.
“We’ve seen really incredible programs flourish at our other community schools in their first year,” Mayor Kenney said. “Many of these programs come from strengthened connections between City departments and our school district, including new career pathways for high school students and added behavioral health supports. Thanks to additional partnerships in our community schools we are better able to support students and families. Today is the first of many success stories that we can look forward to as a result of stronger partnerships between George Washington High School and the City.”
Mayor Kenney was joined by a number of other officials who were there to lend their support to the George Washington High School community. Also in attendance were Congressman Brendan Boyle (D- 13th Dist.); State Representatives Kevin Boyle (D-172th Dist.), Ed Neilson, and Martina White (R- Dist. 170); Councilman Al Taubenberger (R- At-Large); Chief Education Officer Otis Hackney; and Director for Community Schools Susan Gobreski.
Over 700 community members and partners attended the fair to celebrate George Washington High School’s designation as a community school and the new connections to resources and support that the designation will bring. Various City departments and local organizations were in attendance to promote programs and resources, and there was an array of family-friendly activities such as bounce houses, Philly Bubble Sports games, and Home Depot workshops for kids.
The event also showcased students’ talents and interests: art students from George Washington High School set up a free face painting station for children, and students in the culinary program prepared food for fair visitors.
“I’m really excited to see some of the new partnerships that are created at George Washington,” said Otis Hackney, Chief Education Officer for the City of Philadelphia. “This is already a tight-knit community, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the community will grow as we create more opportunities for neighbors, families, and local organizations to get involved with their school.”
George Washington High School is already planning their next large-scale community event, which will be a community Thanksgiving feast hosted in partnership with the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 on November 16th.