Quakerism and Service Learning

Central to our program of spiritual and social-emotional growth is participation in Meeting for Worship. Beginning in pre-kindergarten, Lower School students participate in a weekly Meeting for Worship. In the higher grades, classes often discuss and reflect on an issue in preparation for the Meeting for Worship that follows. Quaker meeting is a time for quiet reflection or prayer. It is a time when a person may feel moved to share an important thought or idea. Participating adults are often moved by the clarity, simplicity and truth of the words of Lower School children.

Penn Charter Lower School service opportunities begin in pre-kindergarten and may include environmental projects; partnerships with physically disabled children at a nearby school; canned good, book and toy collections for local and international relief efforts; packaging toiletries for the homeless at Whosoever Gospel Mission; and service among our own school children, including fifth graders reading to kindergartners.

Spiritual and Social-Emotional Growth

In our Lower School, we create (intentionally) a vibrant, caring school community where children are nurtured and encouraged to grow in all respects – spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and physically. When challenges arise, children are encouraged to respond in a conscientious and compassionate manner, and to learn from the variety of community voices. Drawing upon our Quaker philosophy, children learn to resolve conflicts by using “I” messages to describe their feelings, as well as becoming acquainted with peace-building practices, such as mindful reflection, active listening and community dialogue. Each classroom meets weekly for community-building classes led by the Lower School counselor. Our "friendship groups" are an engaging way for students to become better friends, better problem-solvers and more effective community members. 

We also draw upon materials and techniques from the Responsive Classroom, a social curriculum established by the Northeast Foundation for Children and designed to teach children to care about themselves and each other. Students share in developing classroom rules and the logical consequences for breaking those rules. The Responsive Classroom seeks to teach cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control.

Penn Charter

A Friends School for Girls and Boys, Pre-K to 12

3000 West School House Lane Philadelphia, PA 19144 215.844.3460
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