Is this the 3rd Year?

Yes, we now have 3 years of learners at the school, approximately 384 total. Every day learners walk these halls and still appreciate the environment that was created for them. Below, you'll see a couple of shots of the school and I guarantee you that if you were to visit, you would say the school still looks new. Some would say it's because the learners feel like they're a part of the school - I have seen 3rd year learners correct destructive behaviors of 1st year learners while walking through the hallways. Some would say it's because they respect the building, I like to think its both. Quote your favorite Behavior Change Theory and you'll discover that there are many different factors that can lead to social change, health and behavior. In researching the topic a little further I came across this information on the US Department of Health and Human Services website:

                         In 1971 C. Ray Jeffrey coined the phrase "Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)." According to this approach, the "proper design and effective use of the built environment can lead to a reduction in the fear and incidence of crime and an improvement in the quality of life."1

These principals can benefit schools:

· creating a warm and welcoming environment,

· fostering a sense of physical and social order,

· creating a sense of ownership by students,

· sending positive messages to students,

· maximizing the presence of authority figures,

· minimizing opportunities for out-of-sight activities, and

· managing access to all school areas.2


And from the images below I think you'll agree we've accomplished that here at the school. Enjoy the photos and post any questions in the comments or contact us section!


1. Crowe TD. Crime prevention through environmental design: applications of architectural design and space management concepts. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2000.

2. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 2008. Atlanta, GA: Department of Health and Human Services;2008 [cited 2009 Jan]. Available from URL:

Hover over the pictures with your mouse pointer and use either your mouse wheel or the + and - symbol in the top left corner of the images. Click and drag the images into the center of your screen and then repeat the same steps to get a closer look.

As you approach the building you realize this is a place that probably shouldn't be in West Philadelphia, but that alone can not diminish the fact that the school has become a part of this neighborhood and represents hope in a region that historically posts the worst statistics demographically and educationally.

A Beacon of Hope


Walking into the Streetscape from the front door                                                                                                                                                                                               Looking towards the front door

Click here to learn how to open the "Can I Do That?" page which will explain the technology behind these neat and interesting images.

The Interactive Learning Center (ILC) is what would traditionally be called a Library in most schools, but here they use it for class, for collaborating, for meetings and for the learners to have a place to relax or socialize.