Awarding $1 million in Play Everywhere grants with a focus on playful learning in Philadelphia
Play Everywhere Philly is a city-wide competition to create playful learning spaces that support child development and literacy skills in everyday locations across Philadelphia.
The program has awarded $1 million in Play Everywhere grants to groups working with designers to create playful learning features at places like sidewalks, bus stops, footpaths and areas outside businesses. With support from KABOOM!, William Penn Foundation, Playful Learning Landscapes and Community Design Collaborative, these grantees will develop places for kids aged 0-8 to play and learn together with caregivers.
Meet the Winners
Our 16 Play Everywhere Philly winners received technical assistance from two organizations: Playful Learning Landscapes, to help applicants incorporate playful learning approaches into their project designs, and Community Design Collaborative, to provide applicants with technical design assistance.
BACA will be converting an empty neighborhood lot into a play and learning hub that includes a puzzle wall, walking trails, fitness areas, and open areas for groups to gather. The playspace will build math and spatial skills, as well as teach kids about colors, numbers and the alphabet.
The PCDC is transforming the 10th Street Plaza into a PlayZa with an illustrated map of Chinatown, games and interactive learning murals — complete with English, Mandarin and Cantonese translations.
"Clay, Play, Read" is the installation of two, ceramic murals at the Cecil B. Moore and Kensington libraries. Designed by the community, these murals will explore art and literacy on custom tiles that will prompt families to create words, name animals and create stories.
Demonstrating the community's rich history and artists, "Discovering Sharwswood" is an interactive treasure hunt spread across nearly a dozen kiosks in the neighborhood. The interactive kiosks will feature puzzles and games that teach topics such as art history, eating healthy produce and civil rights.
Book Nook, Computer Lab Lane, Alphabet Alley, Counting Court Marketplace, and Town Clock will be the newest stations at this new "town center" within the NSC. The multi-lingual stations will promote multi-culturalism and cultural literacy learning, as well as, serve as a weekend Farmer's Market!
A new addition to the Frankford Pause Park, this playspace will educate kids about storm water management and the water cycle while they run, jump and play. Kids will simulate evaporation, condensation and precipitation as they play, expanding their understanding about environmental science.
A play wall, rain garden, outdoor classroom and more will be installed alongside a "learning shed" at the FESPP managed park. Kids will play and also learn about science, sustainability and animal life thanks to neighborhood partnerships and nearby schools.
Happy Feet will enhance musical skills through singing and creative movement activities through the use of boxes made of bells and steel. These boxes will be located outside of laundromats and other high-traffic areas for kids and families across Philadelphia.
This project includes a renovation of the Puentes Community Health and Wellness Center that will be covered in interactive murals celebrating the community members heritage. The murals aim to prompt meaningful conversations and the discovery of indigenousness languages.
A kid-sized traffic park where families can practice the rules of the road and safe street habits. The Lil' Philly Safety Village will have traffic lights, intersections, pedestrian crossings and bike lanes.
This playwalk wrapped around Lucien E. Blackwell Homes community will encourage walking, skipping, and running using creative objects encouraging creative play between the homes and community center.
This playspace consists of 32 curated science kits that aim to inspire kids and their families to explore the natural aspects of their neighborhood. With indoor and outdoor activities, the kits will help increase literacy behaviors through vocabulary and science-rich conversations.
This project will transform an uninviting, triangular lot into a park where people can learn and play together, while reflecting on the neighborhood's past, present, and future in the three, giant canvases. Additional programming for the space will be provided by Nicetown-Tioga Library Branch.
The five installations for "The Play District", a network of learning sites spread across Philadelphia, include Spinning Spell, Wheeling Words, Serpentine Story, Audible Alphabet, and Letter Launch. The project aims to promote learning beyond the classroom, while allowing for kids and families to "play along the way."
PPR's "Play Mobile" is a pop-up play kit for use at the city's parks and recreation centers. Filled with books, musical instruments, loose-parts play, jump ropes and balls of all kinds, these kits will create play opportunities in the neighborhoods that need them most, and create playspaces during the Winter months.
Kids will move station-to-station alongside the Delaware River playing together and learning from topics in literacy, spatial math, critical thinking and problem solving. The unique stations may include puzzles, plexiglass mazes, or painted "story stones".
Find the winners
Use a marker on the map below to find the locations of the winning organizations.
About the William Penn Foundation
Play Everywhere Philly is funded by the William Penn Foundation. The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. Learn more about the William Penn Foundation