In March of 2011, Nebinger was “on the chopping block” as one of nine schools in the Philadelphia School district slated for possible closure.
In response to this daunting task, Principal Ralph Burnley took a grassroots/grasstops approach, reaching out to neighborhood and city non-profits and agencies. The school has remained open and its antiquated playground was demolished by the water department in 2013 to make way for new green infrastructure improvements. Since that time TBS has been working with the school to develop a plan to redevelop the rest of the schoolyard.
Throughout this process three important outcomes were identified for a successful redevelopment:
1) physical activity opportunities for all ages;
2) an outdoor learning environment; and
3) a welcoming park space for the school and community to enjoy.
The current principal Anh Brown works diligently with TBS, Friends of Nebinger, and her staff to raise the academic bar at the school and improve community relations.
Alongside the Friends of Nebinger (FON) group, Queens Village Neighborhood Association (QVNA), Bella Vista Neighbors Association, Bridget Foy’s Restaurant, St. Peter’s Church, and Mother Bethel AME Church are all strong supporters of Nebinger.
The Big Sandbox has been a proud partner with these grassroots groups for nearly three years.