Mayor Jim Kenney (right) visits the Kindergarten classroom of Kassidy Miller and Erin Kitchener. (Photo by Brendan Sample)

by Brendan Sample

As a part of his office’s efforts to come to at least one city school every week, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney visited the J.S. Jenks Academy for the Arts and Sciences on Tuesday, June 12

Kenney did not have a particular agenda when visiting the school, but instead was focused on simply talking to students and getting to know them. With it being the last day of school for Jenks’ students, it was certainly a memorable way to close out the school year.

Kenney visited open classrooms with students of all ages, ranging from kindergarten up to sixth grade. His visit also included seeing one of Jenks’ two support classes for autistic students, and ended with speaking to an assembly of third, fourth and fifth graders.

Mayor Kenney visits the 6th grade classroom of Jim Hilburt. (Photo by Brendan Sample)

Kenney’s brief discussions ranged from asking the kindergartners to guess his age to asking the sixth graders which high schools they were beginning to look and are interested in attending. He spoke a bit about his administration, but mainly kept the focus on the kids, including some advice about how to stay safe and productive over the summer. During the assembly, he spoke to the importance of voting when they turn 18 and how he would be looking into getting more city money for schools like Jenks in the future.

Though he did not have any specific program or other initiative to discuss, the visit was in line with Kenney and his administration’s desire to visit at least one school per week, which he has done since being in office. These visits are just one of the ways in which he hopes to continue emphasizing the significance of Philadelphia’s schools.

“People really need to realize just how important our education system is, otherwise we’re never going to break this cycle of poverty,” Kenney said.