Sprucing up Adaire
Friends of Adaire are working to beautify the school inside and out. We've organized fall and spring volunteer cleanup, painting, and planting days. If you want to get your hands dirty and you want to contribute to a more beautiful school and schoolyard in the heart of Fishtown, join us. And if you have connections to companies that can provide us with materials that will help our efforts to beautify Adaire, contact us!
With help from the Trust for Public Land, and sustained effort and support from the Philadelphia Water Department, Council President Darrell Clarke, the School District of Philadelphia, Principal Anna Jenkins, the Philadelphia Department of Public Property, and more, the Adaire schoolyard has been realized! We've tried to capture the process that got us here on this comprehensive web page.
Lobby historical gallery
You might know about our auditorium campaign, and our schoolyard project. But the space IN BETWEEN those two spaces is also a project of Friends of Adaire! We have launched the Adaire Lobby Historical Gallery Project, with our first gathering of what is shaping up to be a stellar Advisory Board! Pictured here are Audrey Castagna, an interior designer (among many other talents), and Ken Milano, Fishtown's preeminent historian, flanking Principal Jenkins in the lobby. Also on board is Mr. McGeehan, Adaire's excellent 7th grade teacher and history buff. We're still seeking someone with expertise in historical preservation of documents/photos, so if you know someone, let us know! We're going to transform the lobby into a gallery showcasing the long history of the Adaire school in Fishtown and spotlight our namesake, Alexander Adaire!
Reviving the Adaire school library
Friends of Adaire worked to help REVIVE THE LIBRARY at Adaire, which hadn't been open to students in 10 years before it reopened in October 2014! Friends of Adaire donated funds to connect the Adaire library to the Philadelphia Reads/PhilaReads.org Book Bank and receive 300 books for the Adaire library. We organized Library Volunteer Days along with our allies at Home & School. Adaire's library had been full of books but disorganized and unused. Volunteers sorted through the books and prepared them for teachers and students to use, helping fulfill one of Principal Jenkins' goals for her first year.
Toddler Story Hour brings families into Adaire's revived library
Friends of Adaire hosted a TODDLER STORY HOUR at Adaire several Wednesdays this winter from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Preschool-age children and toddlers and their parents & caregivers joined us in Adaire's revived library for an evening Story Hour and song circle time. Led by Friends of Adaire board members Denis Devine and Chris Morrissey Grubb, who teaches at Fishtown Playschool, we read books for and with the young ones and enjoy songs and movement. We fulfilled one of Principal Jenkins' priorities, to bring the community into Adaire, while helping families with the hard-to-fill evening hours before dinnertime and before the playgrounds are appealing options.
Helping Adaire students attend High School Fair & learn from Drexel students
Friends of Adaire organized our first field trip for Adaire students! On Friday, Oct. 17th, we brought Adaire’s 8th graders to the annual PHILLY HIGH SCHOOL FAIR AT DREXEL University! Adaire students talked with dozens of representatives from public, magnet, charter and private schools and learned how to apply. The 8th graders also met with students from Drexel’s International Area Studies program, who shared their insights about high school and preparing for college. Principal Jenkins is committed to increasing the number of 8th graders accepted into the District's top high schools (Central, Bodine, etc.) and is bringing representatives from these schools into Adaire for information sessions. Adaire's 8th-grade teachers, led by Dr. Long, also do an amazing job assisting with applications!
Advocating for more funding for all public schools
Friends of Adaire conducted a letter-writing campaign in Spring 2014 to the School Reform Commission, CAMPAIGNING FOR MORE FUNDING for Philadelphia's public schools. Kids and parents contributed letters and posters, and Friend of Adaire Chris Morrissey Grubb testified before the SRC and Friend of Adaire Denis Devine testified before City Council. The Star featured this effort in a front-page story.
Building Kindergarten community before school starts
Several families with 5-year-olds entering Kindergarten at Adaire in September gathered at the Fishtown Recreation Center on Saturday, August 9, for a KINDERGARTEN MIXER. Teachers Mrs. Rice and Ms. Choi and new Principal Anna Jenkins joined many parents and young ones to enjoy pizza, snacks, lemonade and some games. The event was organized by the Friends of Adaire and Adaire Home & School.
Appreciating Adaire teachers, one massage at a time
Friends of Adaire organized two components of TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK at Adaire in early May: A teacher-appreciation breakfast home-cooked by Friends of Adaire and delivered to the teachers lounge, and a day of free massage and Reiki donated by our friends and allies at Threshold Wellness. Both events were appreciated by the great men and women who teach at Adaire, and we plan to make them recurring events!
But many of our efforts are directed toward fundraising on behalf of the education at Adaire, so see our "Contribute" page for more information about what we're up to!
One of Friends of Adaire's top priorities is connecting volunteers from the community to Adaire. We have enlisted and are partnering with several Fishtown neighbors who are giving of their time and talents to enrich the education of Adaire students, and for that we are SO GRATEFUL! Interested in volunteering? See the school district Guidelines for volunteers.