As part of the Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development and US Department of Housing and Urban Developments North Central Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Plan, CPI partnered with the Temple University College of Education, the Norris Apartments Residents Council, and Rebecca Fabiano Consulting Services Inc. to implement a youth planning program. The program, in two sessions through the Summer and Fall of 2016, engaged middle-school aged young people in the Norris Homes with placemaking in their community and introduced them to the power of planning!
As part of the initial summer session, about 30 youth aged nine to thirteen years old in the Norris Homes Summer Camp worked with Rebecca and her staff of energetic artists and educators on activities that explored things the youth love about Norris Homes. Community Teaching Artist and Temple University faculty member Jennie Shanker contributed to activities leading to a film being produced by a Norris Homes staffer. The topic of the film will be the impact of gun violence on community. Learning about the filmmaking process included roleplaying and brainstorming scenarios and building set pieces. Other activities included making maps of their neighborhood and interviewing their neighbors.
In the fall, they returned with new maps making note of people who live in Norris Homes, and using photos and videotaping to capture their stories. The fall program built on the theme of community assets by having the boys and girls groups imagine their ideal, peaceful community. A newsletter for families was developed and delivered along with invitation to an Open House where projects were shared. Youth participated in a variety of critical thinking and arts-based activities leading up to their final projects.
Watch for updates on next steps in Choice Neighborhoods!