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13 Jan 2017

Harambee Institute hosts open house with vigor, excitement and renewed commitment to educating our youth

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January 13, 2017 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:shutterstock

One of Pennsylvania’s first charter schools and the state of Pennsylvania’s first and only African-centered Charter School, Harambee Institute of Science & Technology Charter School (K-8); 640 North 66th Street, Philadelphia, PA will host an open house on Saturday, January 21, 2017 @ 11:AM for parents, students, potential parents/families and the community with student performances, live music and food. 

Chartered in 1997, Harambee’s mission of building self-respect, self-reliance, and empowerment through practical, educationally sound and culturally relevant curricula and services embedded in science and technology was recently re-affirmed when the school kicked off its 20th school year in September.   

Harambee Charter School has its roots in the Independent Black Institution network of the 1970s when Philadelphia educator, John Skief, and the founding coalition started a community school in West Philadelphia. They believed that the African-American community should collectively solve the problems we face, hence the name, “Harambee,” which is Kiswahili for “let’s pull together.”  Although Baba Skief transitioned in 2007, his far-reaching influence in both African-centered studies and education reform continues throughout Philadelphia and beyond.

As one of Philadelphia’s first charter schools, Harambee has become an important and widely recognized part of the city’s system of education. As Pennsylvania’s first African-centered charter school, Harambee educates the whole child – mind, body, and spirit.

Our students learn and apply the skills of creativity, critical-thinking communication, and collaboration. Science and technology connect the curriculum we teach. Our mission is to produce students who excel academically, demonstrate high moral character, and possess a strong sense of personal and cultural identity. Our principles, the Nguzo Saba – unity, self-determination, collective work & responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith – guide our nurturing school culture.  Students, K-8, learn science in a “hands-on” environment that connects theory to real life situations.  At Harambee, we believe that both academic excellence and community service are important.  Students “enter to learn and depart to serve”.

At the Open House families will learn more about how Harambee’s leadership team – Sandra Dungee Glenn, CEO, Tennille Peeler, Principal, Kevin White, Manager of School Operations, and Michelle Thornton, Chief Financial Officer – is building the academic program and designing a STEM program that links day and afterschool instruction.  Harambee is celebrating  a five year charter renewal and winning a 3-year grant, worth $346,000 per year for the Harambee After School Academy and Summer Program (HASA).

The core academic subjects are important, but the arts are far from neglected.

This year Harambee has been selected by the Philadelphia Museum of Art as one of six Philadelphia schools to participate in the Delphi Art Partners Program, a 30-hour Artist-in-Residency program.

Harambee is one of a select group of schools to receive special scholarships for our students to study in Moore College of Art’s Young Artist Workshop (YAW). 


Philadanco, the world-renowned dance company, is giving Harambee students a year-long experience in modern and jazz dance techniques. 

Harambee offers instruction in Music and Art to all students grades K-8. 

December was an exciting month at Harambee.  Harambee honored and celebrated founder and educator John Skief with the Skief Day of Service on December 5.  The entire Harambee Charter School family participated in service projects that have a positive impact on children, elders and West Philadelphia neighborhoods.  On December 20th, Harambee hosted a Pre-Kwanzaa celebration at the school featuring music and dance.

To learn more about Harambee Institute of Science and Technology Charter School ,or to register your child for the 2017 – 2018 school year, feel free to visit the Open House on January 21st, call 215-472-8770 or visit the official website at

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