Fairhill: PhillyEarth Teaches Local Students About Sustainability

One of Hopkins' students, Rosemary, held up her craft, designed to measure wind speed.


Jon Hopkins, the director of PhillyEarth, taught local Fairhill children about becoming community sustainability leaders.

PhillyEarth, an organization founded to teach local children about becoming community sustainability leaders, provides after-school programs, an urban farm site and community outreach programs to Fairhill.

Jon Hopkins, who runs the organization, welcomes a host of children into their space at the Village Arts and Humanities, 2544 Germantown Ave.

One of Hopkins’ students, Rosemary, held up her craft, designed to measure wind speed. 

Hopkins most recently taught seven children on a Monday afternoon about different energy sources before organizing a craft to put his lesson into practice. The students, in teams of two, created their own homemade anemometers, a device designed to measure wind speed.

“I love this class because we get to go outside,” Rosemary, a 10-year-old student in the program, said. “[My anemometer] didn’t work, but it was so much fun.”

Dante Wright, 18, loved tying in the lessons with the urban garden which Hopkins also runs through PhillyEarth.

With produce such as peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, and pickles, Dante and his classmates learn the basics of urban farming and the positive benefits in the community.

“It’s basically like science. And I love science,” Dante said.

Hopkins created PhillyEarth’s urban farm at the Village Arts and Humanities in Fairhill.

Hopkins said he hopes the students take the initiative to share the lessons learned at PhillyEarth with their friends and classmates, spreading the benefits of urban sustainability to those who might not be reached by his organization.


  1. This is wonderful. We need more programs such as this incorporated into teaching, where students get hands-on learning. I suppose you call this experiential education or experiential learning. It helps the students to understand what they have been taught or read in books. Moreover, I believe it keeps them interested and motivated to learn thus channeling their energies in a more positive direction.

    Using programs,organizations, or businesses such as Philly/Earth to teach children in after school programs is an excellent idea…. so what better program than “community sustainability!”

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