Germantown: Program as Safe Haven During Summer Months

Johnson House educator taught students about 17th century musical instruments.
Johnson House educator taught students about 17th century musical instruments.

Rising temperatures come with rising crime rates in Philadelphia. The Johnson House Historic Site, in Germantown, helps to keep students safe during summer months and utilizes education to encourage unity and combat negativity in the community.

The Working and Walking Together Program, which takes place on the Johnson House site, is a summer program that promotes working together through education on culture, arts and history.

Through a partnership with the Germantown Mennonite Historic Meetinghouse, the Johnson House was able to launch the program in the summer of 2010 for youth in summer camps and both sites have become phases in the program.

The Johnson House stood as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Now students in the summer program participate in the Ubuntu Project, which gives students the opportunity to create a memorial for those using the stop, centuries ago. This memorial is used as a garden sculpture for visitors to see throughout the year.

This program is also a way for youth to learn about the community of Germantown and familiarize themselves with the rich history that the area has to offer. The Johnson House provides hands-on activities that engage the students mentally and physically through discussion and art work. As a national historic landmark, the Johnson House and the summer program allow students to create history while learning the history of the area’s forefathers.

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