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West Philadelphia School Kids Dreamed of a Playground Today Their Dream is a Reality

November 15, 2010

What: Students at the Rudolph Blankenburg School, a K-8 public school at 46th Street and Girard Avenue, dreamed of a playground where they could run on a track, play basketball on new courts, enjoy shade and gardens and play against a backdrop of colorful wall murals. Three years later, and after much effort by a Drexel professor, a Drexel alumna and the Blankenburg students themselves, the dream is a reality. Drexel and Blakenburg students and administrators will celebrate the opening of the new 35,000-square-foot playground with a celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The project began when Drexel professor Debra Ruben of the university’s Westphal College interior design program approached the Blankenburg School after talking with Drexel alumna Carol Chew, a volunteer librarian with the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children. At a meeting with Blankenburg School Principal Dr. Christina Spink, Ruben and Chew were told that the school’s greatest need was a new playground and recreational space for the students

Visuals: • Ribbon-cutting with children and Drexel President John Fry and Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell • Backdrop of large, colorful mural by Philadelphia Mural Arts program Dave McShane was the artist • Fifth grade student class singing a song • A visit by Drexel’s dragon mascot “Mario the Magnificent” • Children playing on brand new play structure When: Tuesday, November 16, 2010. 2 p.m. sharp • Elected officials speak 2:15 p.m., ribbon cutting immediately after • Children playing on new play structure at conclusion of event: 2:30 p.m.

Where: Blankenburg Elementary School 46th Street and Girard Avenue


News media contacts: Zeek Weil, director, communications & events, Westphal College of Media Arts & Design 215-895-2629, 215-360-7600 (cell)

Niki Gianakaris, director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell),

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