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History of Service at Penn Charter

Gift Drive, late 1960s or early 1970sOn campus and beyond its borders, during school hours and on their own time, Penn Charter students find ways to reach out to others, make a difference in the community—and learn from their experiences.

The school's commitment to service reaches back to its roots. Penn Charter's founder, William Penn, embraced the call to serve others as a basic tenet of his Quaker faith. Penn and the early Quakers sought to "mend this world" through service to the poor, the mentally ill—all those with struggles in life.

"True Godliness does not turn men out of the world, but enables Them to live better in it, and excites their endeavors to mend it." —William Penn, 1644-1718

Early leaders of the school set an example for students by actively engaging in reform organizations. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Overseers of the school were involved in Quaker reform organizations, including the Friends' Asylum for the Insane and the Friendly Association for Indian Relief. They were also active in secular reform efforts, including the Philadelphia Association for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons, Pennsylvania Hospital and the Philadelphia Association for the Instruction of Poor Children.

Earl J. Ball, head of school from 1976 to 2007, said the service learning program combined with community service activities enrich the Penn Charter experience. "Service at Penn Charter speaks to one of the core values of the school's mission and is central to what we do."


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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