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August 12 is International Youth Day!

Designated by the United Nation's General Assembly, International Youth Day was created in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goal for Quality Education, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all."

This year’s International Youth Day theme is "Transforming Education" and will examine how governments, young people, and youth-led and youth-focused organizations, as well as other stakeholders, are transforming education so that it becomes a powerful tool.

In an effort to help educate kids with global roots, Global Philadelphia Association recently launched a new program entitled, "Learning about World Heritage With Coloring Books,” which enables young students to learn about their own heritage, as well as that of our city’s and the global community.

Led by Global Philadelphia Association's World Heritage Program Manager Melissa Stevens and Educational Consultant Sarah Sharp, and held in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia’s Henry H. Houston School in Mt. Airy, students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade created imaginative projects based on the Philadelphia World Heritage Coloring Book.

Five teachers committed to implementing the World Heritage Coloring Book into their curriculum through the development of a specific project, completion of pre- and post-surveys to understand what their students had learned about heritage, maintain periodic contact with Sarah Sharp, and complete a final report summarizing their experiences with the program, among other steps. 

The t
eachers were each honored as World Heritage Ambassador Teachers, in recognition of their enthusiastic classroom project development, particularly focused around visual arts, literature, and history.

So, what did the students ultimately create? One second grade class researched and created their own historical tour called, "Philadelphia Through Our Eyes," which runs on SEPTA’s #23 bus route and travels along Germantown Avenue. This class’ teacher will move with this group into third grade in the 2019 - 2020 school year and students will continue the project, which will include a field trip based on the tour they created.

Another class shared paper cut-outs of the coloring book characters, Olivia and Caleb, with relatives in surrounding communities and had the characters “visit” Jenkintown and other neighborhoods. Several classes also developed their own coloring books that depicted favorite sites that held meaning in the students’ own lives. Overall, the classes and their teachers expanded their understanding of heritage and history, personally and in Philadelphia’s history too.

Teachers expect to use the program again in the upcoming school year and expand the student engagement time that they devote to it.

For more information about implementing this program in your school, contact GPA's World Heritage Program Manager Melissa Stevens at 215-563-2483 or, or Educational Consultant Sarah Sharp at

Learn more
This program is supported through Global Philadelphia Association's World Heritage City Project. Click the image below to learn more.
Copyright © 2019 Global Philadelphia Association, All rights reserved.

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