As the bell rang for recess at Tanner Duckrey Elementary School in North Philadelphia, the 4th graders ran outside to meet their friends. But there wasn’t really anywhere to play – just a blacktop and two basketball hoops surrounded by a fence. Kids didn’t have a lot to do during recess, and sometimes they ended up bullying or teasing each other.

Enter Duckrey’s 4th grade Young Heroes who were participating in our yearlong character & civic leadership program, thanks to the generous support of the Sheller Family Foundation.

The Young Heroes identified the lack of play space as an obstacle to the success of the students and school. So, working with the Museum’s educators, they launched an action project to tackle the problem.

The Young Heroes created a petition in support of a new playground. Their petition made its way to the desk of City Council President Darrell Clarke, who made a visit to the students as they presented their case. The Council President gave the students advice on how to navigate the complex process of building a playground.


The Young Heroes took the Council President’s advice to heart. They did their research and put in hard work to figure out how they could help with the playground process. They didn’t give up on making their voices heard in the school and in city government. On December 10, 2018, the Young Heroes cut the ribbon on the first phase of their school’s new playground! The Duckrey Young Heroes’ hard work, positive attitude, and “stick-to-it-iveness” are an inspiration to all of us.

Learn more about supporting the Young heroes Outreach Program.

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