Brand New Playground at DPHE!

A dream came true for Democracy Prep Harlem Elementary. We are overjoyed to announce that we opened up a brand new playground! 

Democracy Prep Harlem Elementary School (DPHE) shares a co-located space with the Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce. One thing you’ll notice upon visiting the building is its vast outdoor space, and our Scholar Leadership Council had a few ideas on how to enhance their campus, one of them being a playground. 

Since the beginning of 2023, our scholars and staff have been hard at work planning and designing the playground. They received feedback from students on what they would like to see, they were actively involved in the designing process, they prepared proposals to present to Assemblyman Edward Gibbs, and so much more! Now, we finally get to see the playground in all of its glory! 

And what’s a new playground without an official ribbon-cutting ceremony! On a beautiful summer day, we welcomed many distinguished guests and invited all DPHE scholars and staff to partake in the ceremony.  

Assemblymember Edward Gibbs, who attended our ceremony, expressed, “A playground allows students to form bonds, be creative, and enhances their social emotional development. I am thankful to the dedicated principals, Ms Palmer and Mr. Vizcaino, who worked together to make this a possibility. Lastly, I’d like to encourage the students to continue using their voice to advocate for things that are important to them.”

Photo of Assemblymember Edward Gibbs and President of the Scholar Leadership Council.

“To us, this playground represents what is possible for co-located schools,” said Natasha Trivers, our CEO. “For a long time now, we have dreamt of creating an outdoor space that is just as engaging and educational as our own classrooms. Through strong partnership, collaboration, and communication, Democracy Prep and Urban Assembly have made this dream come true.”

This playground is named K.A.E. Playground, in memory of teachers Kassie Jordan and Edgar Dinzey, and scholar Alfa Barrie—three unique individuals who made a huge impact on our school community and whose legacy will live on each day our students get to enjoy this space. We were truly grateful to be in the presence of Alfa’s family, who also shared words of appreciation.

Photo of Alfa Barrie’s family, Assemblymember Edward Gibbs, Principal Palmer of Democracy Prep Harlem Elementary, Principal Vizcaino of the Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce, and the Scholar Leadership Council.

This project is the result of our scholars’ creativity and determination to make this idea a reality. Many thanks to Principal Palmer of Democracy Prep Harlem Elementary, Principal Vizcaino of the Urban Assembly School for Global Commerce, Assemblymember Gibbs, the Scholar Leadership Council, and everyone who helped make this dream come true!

The K.A.E. Playground is a new chapter, one in which our scholars will continue to grow and develop into the bright individuals they are with the help of this wonderful space and the people in it.

Photo of the Scholar Leadership Council.

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