Literacy Rich Neighborhoods: The Nest

Mt. Airy Community Development Corporation

Enhancing literacy for children and families through playful learning

Literacy Rich Neighborhoods: The Nest

Mt. Airy Community Development Corporation

Philadelphia, PA

Installation is located in 1/3 square mile section of Germantown Philadelphia

the opportunity

Mt. Airy Community Design Collaborative (CDC), a non-profit community organization, and the Literacy Rich Neighborhood (LRN), an initiative designed to support early childhood education, worked together alongside KSS Architects to create a literacy-rich community in Germantown Philadelphia. Funded through The William Penn Foundation, the Mt. Airy CDC worked with KSS to create an LRN in a 1/3 square mile section of Germantown Philadelphia. Established near the Historic Johnson House and Holman Field Summer Reading Camp.

our approach

The vision of this project and location in Germantown, specifically Holman field was to convert ordinary spaces into playful learning environments, enhancing literacy opportunities, and ensuring that the children in the neighborhood can read toa grade level. This LRN is known as “The Nest”, fosters literacy skills for a lifetime of learning while including playful aspects to help spark interactions between caregivers and children. Through designing these joyful learning opportunities, it helps build skills that help children thrive. As Holman Field is the center of the neighborhood, and the space is currently being used as a culmination of all LRN elements seen previously, the added furniture pieces in “The Nest” can be moved around, pushed together, and the canopy can be added or removed. These aspects allow for flexible gatherings, benefiting the Mt. Airy summer reading camp, which already meets at these locations.

Ian Baker
As an educator, I will always say a higher educated community will be a better community.

A local parent and current president of Pomona Cherokee Civic Council (PCCC) in Germantown, Philadelphia, PA

Our Process


Business Incubator, Offices, Wet and dry labs, Co-working desk spaces, Studio spaces, Meeting rooms, Central presentation “bleacher,” Social spaces