Henry School Seeks Matching Funds for Multimedia Library

by 
Alison Cohen, for the Shuttle
Principal Rogers dons the Cat’s hat to read with Henry first-graders.

HOW TO HELP

For more info or to contribute to the fund for the LaunchPad at Henry School, visit www.gofundme.com.CWHenryLaunchPad

C.W. Henry School, across the street from Weavers Way Mt. Airy, prides itself on economic and racial diversity, academic excellence and connection to the Mt. Airy community. A K-8 school, it serves approximately 500 Philadelphia public-school students who learn standard subjects such as math, history, reading and computers, as well as music, art, gardening and much more. It even has dragon boating! 

But one thing Henry lacks is a library. So the school is working to create The LaunchPad, a multimedia library center that will reintroduce a real-book library of fiction and non-fiction books, and include different media for technology learning as well as a brand-new MakerSpace for budding engineers.

The total cost for the project is $25,000. Henry has a matching grant from the Neubauer Family Foundation, and must raise the first $12,500 for the project by Nov. 30. 

“Growing up, my school did not have a playground, but the library was a place of exploration and excitement for me,” said Henry Principal Fatima Rogers. “I believe it is really important to open up the world beyond our neighborhood to our students and provide them with the opportunity to compete in a tech-centered society.”

“A library not only holds books, it holds stories and new ways of thinking,” said eighth-grader Sabria Debose. “Children should be able to start an adventure by opening up a book or technology of their own. We live in such a tech-savvy world and it will be a huge inconvenience to students by not teaching them ways to excel in it!”

Students will be able to do research and tech-enabled creative projects such as movie editing, use software on different types of computers and tablets and have a quiet, beautiful and comfortable space in which to enjoy the learning process.

“I worked in the library when I was a student. It helped me understand how to properly research and digest the information around me. My library helped me learn how to discern good info from biased info,” said first grade teacher Meredith Schecter.

Henry already has a computer technology specialist and a computer lab, so The LaunchPad will already have the necessary staffing, which is often harder to acquire than the setup.

For more information about The LaunchPad or to make a donation, visit the GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/CWHenryLaunchPad.

Alison Cohen is a Weavers Way Working Member.