Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, M.S. SpEd
A new early-childhood education center in Northeast Philadelphia opened its doors this year signaling success for a nonprofit partnership that aims to make an impact on neighborhoods and communities to provide quality education to preschool aged kids.
The Kinder Academy opened on Elgin Avenue in the Rhawnhurst neighborhood of downtown Philadelphia in a previously vacant building. The area is high-density and there are just not enough options for quality early education programs for kids there according to Leslie Spina, the executive director of Kinder Academy. The center is just one small player in the push to make quality education centers more widely available in Philadelphia.
The Kinder Academy building may not be state of the art, but it does have insulated floors to keep students warm in the winter, sinks and bathrooms in the classrooms, and high quality LED lighting. Even these basics could be considered luxuries unavailable at the overcrowded inner city neighborhood facilities in Philadelphia.
The Kinder Academy is the result of a nonprofit team sponsored by funds from the William Penn Foundation and the Public Health Management Corp. The William Penn Foundation has been making an impact in Philadelphia for 70 years, with the provision of quality education being one of its primary goals alongside a variety of other philanthropic activities.
The Public Health Management Corp. believes that providing quality education is an important part of maintaining overall health. Both organizations are committed to opening other schools in the Philadelphia area and continuing to provide new educational opportunities for the city’s kids.
“We want to give families the opportunity to say I have a high-quality center in my neighborhood and my kid is going to flourish there,” Spina said. The continued work of the William Penn Foundation and the Public Health Management Corp will hopefully be a step towards doing just that.