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Volunteers Needed for Career Day at Harding Middle School

Harding Middle School from Google Street View

Dear Community Members and Potential Volunteers:

Harding Middle School will host a career day for our students on April 26th, 2018 from 9 am until 2 pm (time is dependent on number of volunteers and may change). Our goal is to expose our students to as many career options as possible before we send them off to high school. So many of our city high schools offer specialized programs based on student interests and we would like our students to be prepared to choose among them.

We are asking for your help to fill our career day spots. We are looking for volunteers to represent multiple fields – no volunteer will be turned away.

We have a specific need for CTE and public service fields.  CTE refers to Career and Technical Education.  These are hands-on work fields such as carpentry, mechanics, barbers, etc. Often these are fields that do not require college education, but do require technical training.

Volunteers should be able to get to Harding by 8:30 am at the latest on April 26th and should be prepared with visuals for their tables. Volunteers may also choose to provide students with handouts with additional information about their career or college experience.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in volunteering their time to support our mission, please contact Blair Downie at and provide the following information:


Education Experience:

Job Title:

Employer or Business Name:

Brief Job Description:

Years of Experience at Current Job:

Thank you in advance from our Harding family for your support as we continue to work diligently to prepare our students for high school and beyond. Feel free to reach out with any questions by sending an email to or by calling Harding at 215-400-3990 and leaving a message for Blair Downie.


Harding’s Leadership Team

Blair B. Downie
School Based Teacher Leader – ELA and Social Studies
Harding Middle School
2000 Wakeling St, Philadelphia, PACheck out my DonorsChoose webpage!
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Sixers Youth Foundation Presents the New Coaching Café at Harding

December 13, 2016.  The Sixers Youth Foundation in partnership with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Civic Engagement & Volunteer Service launched a new after-school program at Warren G. Harding Middle School. This is an early evening program modeled after Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Cities of Service initiative called the “Homework Diner”.  The goal of the Coaching Café is to engage parents and caregivers in their child’s academic achievement.  Read the details at the link below.

Source: Sixers Youth Foundation Presents the New Coaching Café Program in Frankford | Philadelphia 76ers

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Car Lots on Torresdale Avenue Continue to Block Sidewalks

The Frankford Civic Association meeting on November 3rd heard a string of complaints from residents about the sidewalks being obstructed by the used car lots on Torresdale Avenue obstructing the sidewalks with parked cars.  Kids going to local schools have to walk in the street to get by.  Its clearly a violation but getting the police or PPA to do anything about it seems to be next to impossible.  The issue will be investigated for future action.

Also a topic was the report of noxious fumes coming from the Amuneal building on Torresdale Avenue.  Subsequent discussion with Amuneal indicated that the plume of smoke coming from the stack on the roof is steam and no smell was in evidence when an in person visit was made.  Amuneal encouraged residents to come in and have a look whenever there is a problem.

The weeds on the Harding Middle grounds along Margaret Street have been cut.  The situation was the source of many complaints by neighbors throughout the Summer.  The School District says the problem was caused by a temporary lack of personnel.


The new bar at Paul and Torresdale is open but the LCB web site says the license is still in safekeeping but the business is open.  That issue was reported on the web site as a potential violation.

The next meeting of the Frankford Civic Association will be held on December 8th at 7 PM at St. Marks Church, 4442 Frankford Avenue.

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Philly School District Embraces the Weeds

It has been years since the first neighbor on the 2000 block of Margaret Street came to the Frankford Civic Association meeting and complained about the maintenance of the Harding Middle School property on the Margaret Street side.

The School District mows the grass and keeps the weeds off the sidewalk on the property near the school but on that big section of the property closest to Margaret Street, it looks like a dump.  On the Ditman Street side you can barely walk on the sidewalk for the weeds that block the passage.  On the Margaret side, passersby are greeted by weeds on the lot that are three feet high or more.

In August when the neighbors on Margaret Street had a block party they cut the weeds on the lot closest to Margaret in order to make it look a little better.  They have made numerous complaints to 311 and nothing changes.

The most recent 311 case number was 10879517.  According to 311 records, an inspection was made on August 31st and a violation notice was issued.  A re-inspection was made on September 13th where no improvement was noted.  An inspection was made on September 23rd and the case was closed.  This would indicate that the problem was resolved however as you can see from the video below that these weeds did not grow this high in the last 2 weeks.

Do you think this would go on if this was private property?


When we finished the draft of this story we sent it over to the School District for comment and got an email back on Wednesday from Kevin Geary, Chief of External Relations who said ”

Thank you for sending this. We were closed yesterday due to the Jewish new year.

We will clear sidewalk and cut field today. Our field attendant has been out sick for 4 weeks…

Background: Our field attendant has been out sick for 4 weeks. Our supervisor should have caught and shifted resources but did not.

We went out to have a look on Saturday and true to his word, well take a look at the video below.

In Spring we’ll check back to see if is being maintained.  Thanks Kevin Geary for your help.

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Frankford’s Harding and Marshall Schools to Be Focus Schools

Harding and Marshall along with nine other  Philadelphia public schools are in line for a major shake up, the school district announced Monday.  Community meetings at the schools scheduled for October 18th and 19th.  See the details at the link below.

Source: Philly targets 11 low-performing schools for intervention — Keystone Crossroads