Thursday, August 12, 2010

PTM in the Community: Growing Parkside

Please Touch Museum not only works with children, it also works with teens! The ACES (Achievement through Community, Education and Skill building) students are working with the West Philadelphia Senior Center with a plan to rehab a park in a nearby underprivileged neighborhood, Parkside, at 41st and Poplar Street. The ACES Program is a program for teenagers at PTM that helps high school students improve social skills, prepares them for the workforce, presents college preparation skills, and provides community service opportunities. ACES student, Imani tells us all about her experience:

The park was enhanced by KABOOM in 2000 with new swings, jungle gyms and benches, but was not kept up with over the years. Garbage covered the grass of the park. The plants and flowers died due to nine scorching summers of heat. A touch up for the paint on the benches was greatly needed. What was once the light of this community had become dark and the ACES were to the rescue!

Teens from PTM’s ACES program felt the urge to fix this broken window of Parkside. We worked together with the senior citizens of the West Philadelphia Senior Center to brighten the park with yellow paint. First we picked up the garbage in the park and surrounding areas. Then we painted the benches and flower pots. We also repaired and painted a utility shed that will aid in future park upkeep. I know it made a huge impact on the community surrounding this safe haven. Before, children of the neighborhood were not interested in playing in the park but shortly after we made the improvements I saw one boy excited to play in the revived park. When that young boy came to play on the slide a smile rose on my face and I felt proud of our team’s accomplishment.

This intergenerational project was a great experience for both teens and seniors because the two groups do not usually have the opporunity to work together. It was a long few hot summer days, but this achievement turned out to be a victory!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your hard work ACES!


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