The Mt. Airy CDC held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week for “The Community Reading Nest,” a new literacy installation for children.
The Mt. Airy CDC held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week for “The Community Reading Nest,” a new literacy installation for children at Cliveden that will serve the Mt. Airy-Germantown communities throughout the year.
The event, which took place at the Cliveden homestead on Aug. 10, included a variety of activities – book giveaways, snacks, music, games, child entertainers, and even tours of The Nest. Speakers also made announcements throughout the morning, including Phil Dawson, executive director of the Mt. Airy Community Development Corp. (CDC), state Senator Art Haywood and Senior Program Associate of the William Penn Foundation, Amanda Charles.
The Nest is funded by The Mt. Airy CDC’s program, the Literacy Rich Neighborhood Initiative (LRNI), and a grant from the William Penn Foundation. LRNI works to get every child in Philadelphia reading at or above grade level by the end of 3rd grade, while also advancing the aims of the citywide grade-level reading campaign led by the non-profit organization, Read by 4th.
The wooden Nest is designed and constructed to look like a natural bird’s nest, and consists of a free library, multiple seating options, colorful wildlife I-Spy elements, story starters and an audio listening station, according to a Mt. Airy CDC press release. The Reading Nest also will have special support for the Community Summer Reading Camp at Holman Field, and Cliveden will integrate it into its community programming.
According to the Mt. Airy CDC, being outdoors stimulates children’s imaginations and creativity; the natural environment surrounding the Nest and the stories associated with the neighborhood are designed to contribute to their increased curiosity, vocabulary, critical thinking, observational skills and expanded empathy for others.