The Nature, Engineering, Science, Technology, Theater Early learning and Community Center


Within three years, Woodland Academy, Bartrams Garden, the Southwest Leadership Circle, along with Digsau, the award-winning architect and design firm, interviewed and hired by the Southwest Leadership Circle, hosted community engagement meetings, listening sessions, and programming planning events to elicit authentic input from the community. During this process, the community helped shape the programs and services that the NESTT would offer. The community’s input led to the plan for the creation of a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen, where the community could engage in cooking classes as well as host community events. The construction of the Community Kitchen would complement a Community Space, which is an additional need that was expressed at many of the community meetings.


Just before the Covid-19 Pandemic, Woodland Academy was awarded a RACP grant of $1 million with the support of Senator Williams Jr. While the pandemic has had a major impact on our ability to aggressively fundraise to complete the construction of the NESTT, Woodland Academy, GPHA, Bartrams Garden and other partners are committed to raising the funding needed to create this transformative Nature, Engineering, Science, Technology, and Theater focused Early learning, and Community Center called the NESTT.


Woodland Academy Child Development Center, a Keystone Star IV early care and learning facility located at 54th and Grays Ave, will move into the state-of-the-art facility called the NESTT. Our community of staff and enrolled families, as well as the larger community, will continue to receive updates on the progress of the NESTT construction leading up to the completion and grand opening. The staff, children, and families will have a series of transitioning activities and events to support the Woodland Academy’s transition into its new home on 56th Street and Bartrams Garden South.


Woodland Academy Child Development Center recognizes that the approach needed to ensure a community’s success must be reflective of a collaboration of members within the community. The community itself can serve as experts on the strengths, needs, and solutions that best address many of the barriers to its success. 

Every person, government office, business, and school is directly impacted by that community’s success or failure and consequently needs to be represented within the governing body that impacts funding priorities, strategies, and policy needs.


Woodland Academy Child Development Center is actively seeking funders who believe that quality education is the right of every family. Woodland Academy defines a quality education as one that is comprehensive in meeting the needs of the child and family; one that partners with the child’s family and supports that family as the child’s primary reflection of themselves; one that uses a child’s culture, interest, and strengths as the curriculum’s framework; and whose staff reflects the culture of the community it serves or creates a staffing pipeline to ensure that this goal is realized.

Individuals are also welcome to fund this project by contacting either Stephanie Battle or Sharon Neilson at 215-726-6646. Thank you.


Woodland Academy

Thank you for visiting


5401 Grays Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19143


(215) 726-6646
(215) 726-1640 Fax

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