Student Life

Philadelphia Service Immersion Program (PSIP)

Philly Destinations

The following are some of the Philly Destination trips we have done in the past:

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African-American Culture & History in Philadelphia
 

For over three hundred years, African-Americans have made rich scientific, cultural, and spiritual contributions to the United States, despite the oppression of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and ongoing discrimination. Philadelphia has been the site for many of these contributions, with its tragic mix of slavery and freedom in the city of Quakers. This walking tour will cover only a small portion of key historical places, several of which are in W.E.B. DuBois’ famous Seventh Ward in Center City.

 

African-American Museum of Philadelphia
 

At the African American Museum in Philadelphia, students will be introduced to the history of African Americans in the Philadelphia area and to some notable Philadelphian African Americans to Philadelphia in particular and to America in general.

A walk through Chinatown will include a look around the shops and perhaps a visit to Holy Redeemer (Chinatown's Catholic Church).  We will also eat dinner in Chinatown.

Weather permitting, we will walk across the Ben Franklin Bridge, which spans the Delaware River and links Philadelphia to Camden, NJ.  Few major bridges feature a pedestrian walkway, but the "Ben" is one of them.  The view from the walkway is spectacular.

 

Eastern State Penitentiary

In the United States today, 2.2 million men and women are in prison or jail.  By a wide margin, this is the highest rate of incarceration in the "civilized" world.  Behind the number is a complex history of experiments in addressing the problem of crime.  Eastern State Penitentiary, opened in 1829 in Philadelphia, provided a radically new model for dealing with offenders - a true "penitentiary," a place of repentence.  As with many other distinctive contributions of Philadelphia, the shaping of this prison reflects the philosophy of the Quakers.  A visit to Eastern State, now a museum, will provide a window into the history of prisons, criminal justice, and the city of Philadelphia.

 

Fairmount Park Drive-By Tour

Philadelphia's 5600-acre Fairmount Park system is the largest "in city-limits" park in the world.  Beginning on the Ben Franklin Parkway, this tour will provide a survey of East and West Fairmount Parks, stopping at some of its oldest and most famous places - including the Fairmount Waterworks, Lemon Hill Mansion, the Whispering Benches, Memorial Hall, the Horticultural Society and Japanese House, Belmont House and Belmont Plateau, Strawberry Mansion, and the Laurel Hill Cemetery.  Interspersed throughout the tour will be "sightings" of famous public statues (Philadelphia's "Museum without Walls").  The drive and trek will end with an outdoor feast of hoagies, cheese steaks, and calzone at the Couch Tomato Café in Manayunk, followed by dessert at Rita's Water Ice.

 

The Franklin Institute
 

In 1824, The Franklin Institute was established as the first professional organization of mechanical engineers and professional draftsmen in the United States. The Franklin Institute has survived for more than 175 years, finding ways to adapt, flourish, and create opportunities for expanding knowledge. Evolving over the years, but retaining a passion for exploration and discovery, the heart of the Institute’s mission remains public science and technology education - through interactive exhibits, theater-based programming, educational programs and outreach. 

 

The Kimmel Center for the Perfoming Arts
 

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts includes Verizon Hall and the Perelman Theater and is home to The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, American Theater Arts for Youth, PHILADANCO, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.  The Kimmel Center's mission includes arts and education, community outreach, and a rich diversity of programming through its Kimmel Center Presents and Cadillac Broadway at the Academy series of performances.

Building & Theater Tour is approximately one hour long and may include a history of the Kimmel Center, architectural and construction highlights, visits to Commonwealth Plaza, Perelman Theater, Verizon Hall, Merck Arts Education Center and the Dorrance H. Hamilton Garden.

The Kimmel Center broke ground in 1998 and opened in 2001 and inclues 450,000 sq ft over an entire city block.  The glass roof is over 150 ft high, and the building has seating for 2,547 in Verizon Hall and for 651 in the Perelman Theater.

 

Mural Arts Program Tour
 

Over 2,800 murals on buildings throughout Philadelphia have been created through the Mural Arts Program.  This program connects urban youth and professional artists through art education.  It also facilitates collaboration with communities throughout the city to create murals that reflect the culture and history of specific neighborhoods and that help to revitalize open spaces in the city.  This PSIP group will do a walking tour of a series of murals along the "Mural Mile" in Center City and will also ride the #10 trolley, stopping to explore the murals along Lancaster Avenue in West Philly.

 

 

Old St. Joe’s and the Gesu-- The Birthplace of the Hawks

Journey into the heart of the city through the eyes of a hawk. Explore how Saint Joseph's University grew out of a Society Hill parish for immigrants into a key part of the cultural make up of one of America's largest cities. Come to know how you are now part of one of the most comprehensive, global network of Jesuit education.

 

Philadelphia Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo’s 42-acre Victorian garden is home to more than 1,300 animals, many of them rare and endangered.  The Zoo, fulfilling its mission of conservation, science, education and recreation, supports and engages in conservation efforts to protect endangered species around the world.  Like many other Philadelphia landmarks and institutions, the Philadelphia Zoo is an American first.  On this visit, students will explore the Zoo's history, design, and purpose, looking at how it has evolved over the past 125 years, how it works today, and how it may change in the decades to come.

 

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is one of the nation's oldest combined museums and art schools.  At PAFA, we will visit the historic landmark building, designed in 1876 by renowned Philadelphia architect Frank Furness.  We will also visit the new wing of the museum to see an exhibition of works by contemporary artist Eric Fischl.

Following our museum visit, we will head to the Reading Terminal Market, another Philadelphia institution.  The market opened its doors in 1892 and is currently home to more than 80 merchants, with foods from all over the region and the world, including cheesesteaks, sushi, burritos, gumbo and more.

 

The Rosenbach Museum

The Rosenbach Museum is one of the finest private collections of rare books and manuscripts in the country, containing such treasures as the only surviving copy of Benjamin Franklin’s first Poor Richard’s Almanac, the manuscript of James Joyce’s Ulysses, and Bram Stoker’s notes for Dracula.  More recently, they have acquired a number Maurice Sendak’s drawings, adding to their already substantial collection of children’s literature.  Our visit will include a tour of the collection, including the current exhibitions, followed by dinner in nearby Rittenhouse Square.  Please visit http://www.rosenbach.org/ for more information. 

 

Tour of Isaiah Zagar
 

Isaiah Zagar’s work is prominent all throughout Philadelphia. His stylistic murals that visually push the limits of mosaics and painting, beautify the city and lend moments of joy and bliss. Students will take a tour through South Philadelphia looking at Zagar’s work. Not only will students get to know the South Philadelphia area but get to learn about a Philly artist.   

 

Tour of Philadelphia
 

Philadelphia is often referred to the city of neighborhoods. Not only do we have we have an eclectic array of cultural institutions and people; we have a very historic city as well. Dr John Maxwell, a life-long Philadelphian, will lead a tour throughout the Philadelphia’s neighborhood and also highlight many famous landmarks. 

 

Walking Tour of Olde City - "A Self-Guided Constitutional"
 

"We The People" began in Philadelphia.  This tour will take us through the streets where the Founding Fathers declared independence and established a new nation.  Sites include Independence Visitor Center, the Liberty Bell, Franklin Court, the Second Bank, City Tavern and Carpenter's Hall among others.  We will also stop along the tour to hear "Once Upon A Nation" stories.