Red carpets, basketball mascots and giant ribbons being cut by the Mayor. Sounds like something out of a movie, right? Well in this case, it was actually the first week of school! 

At three of Philadelphia’s 20 Community Schools, the first week of school brought plenty of fun and joy.

Students are welcomed back into Dunbar in style: on a red carpet, surrounded by supportive adults

On Monday, Aug. 29, students at Paul F. Dunbar Elementary School, one of the three new Community School additions announced last spring, were welcomed back-to-school in style on their first day.

Temple University student athletes, Mayor Kenney, School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Tony Watlington, and many others lined the red carpet to welcome students on their first day as a DJ played. 

Before class, kids at Add B. Anderson stop for a selfie!
Before class, kids at Add B. Anderson stop for a selfie!

On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the day kicked off at Richard R. Wright School with a truly one-of-a-kind surprise: the Philadelphia 76ers! Joining in the festivities were members of the Sixers cheer team, hype squad, and of course, the one and only Franklin! Students were also given backpacks, shirts, and plenty of school supplies to get their year started on a fantastic foot.


Students at Add B. Anderson test out the new playground equipment.

And then on Wednesday, Aug. 31, students at Add B. Anderson School were greeted with a truly year-changing gift. Thanks to the team at the Trust for Public Land, students are enjoying brand new equipment on the school’s outdoor playground.

Also included are newly planted trees to provide shade, as well as new drain systems to help with storm water. Now, students will have the best resources for play outside, while taking a break from all the learning going on inside!

These are just some of the wonderful things that happened the first week at Community Schools, and all schools across the city. This is just the start of brand-new year, which means there’s so many more moments of happiness, excitement, and learning to come!

Temple Mascot Hooter is on hand (or is it wings?) to welcome students at Paul Dunbar back for another year!

Community Schools are a partnership between the City of Philadelphia, the School District of Philadelphia, and school communities to remove barriers to learning and support the success of each student.

There are currently 20 City-designated Community Schools, serving nearly 10,000 students. Community Schools are supported by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.