1st Annual One Park Hill - PHNEE


One of PHCI’s main areas of focus is academics, specifically in regard to Park Hill’s four neighborhood elementary schools – Smith, Hallet, Stedman, and Park Hill Elementary.  Two years ago, a group of Park Hill neighbors gathered for a dialogue about diversity, equity and inclusion, particularly as they relate to those four schools. That conversation highlighted the need to raise awareness across the community of the inequities among our schools and to work collaboratively to address them. Thus, was born Park Hill Neighbors for Equity in Education (PHNEE).  PHCI serves as a fiscal sponsor, support network, and frequent collaborator with PHNEE. Recognizing the deep commitment in Park Hill to diversity, equity, and inclusion dating back decades, and the stark disparities in resources and supports at our schools, PHNEE works to improve education for all of our kids.


In collaboration with PHNEE, the first annual One Park Hill Day was hosted at McAuliffe International School. All third-graders from each of the four schools gathered at the school for a day of joy, laughter, and community building. The students were each given one of eight different colored One Park Hill bracelets which divided them into groups filled with students from all four schools. Throughout the day, the groups learned a dance routine taught by dancers from The School of Breaking and participated in team-building activities led by Denver Parks and Recreation. This event allowed kids from different racial, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds to build friendships and create memories with one another. With events like this, we have the chance to unite our diverse neighborhood of exceptional learners, helping them discover their shared humanity.

To support these efforts, PHCI staff helped coordinate the day and provided fiscal support. PHCI interns pitched in on helping manage the day that included over 300 third graders.

Huge thanks to everyone who made this event possible. Susie Seawell and the rest of the PHNEE resources committee, the McAuliffe International School Staff, Shine Volunteers, The School of Breaking, Denver Parks and Rec, and all of the principals, teachers, paras, and kids, who made the day a success.

Early Literacy Pilot - Holiday Ornament Decorating

PHCI Ornament Decorating Activity to close out the end of the Early Literacy Pilot and celebrate the holiday season!

Early Literacy Pilot - “Watch Me Read!” “Watch Me Succeed!” Literacy Camp

As a part of the Early Literacy Initiative, Park Hill Collective Impact supported Black Child Development Institute-Denver (BCDI-Denver) and Project Proud Fatherhood in launching the first night of its 3rd Annual “Watch Me Read!” “Watch Me Succeed!” Early Literacy Camp Thurs. July 12, 2018. The literacy camp is designed for African American children ages 3 to 8 years old, led and ran by African American males, with a focus originated out of a call from DAAP (Denver African American Philanthropist) Group in 2016.

This year’s theme is “Building Wakanda!” From concept to set-up newly hired BCDI Program Development Director Jalen Taylor took the vision of thought leaders and did an outstanding job!

Tonight was Mbaku’s “How to build your kingdom” where children were assembled into their tribes and did a mapping activity connecting the Kingdoms of Africa with Great Kings and Queens. King Kenneth D Crowley did a call and response to the young kings! Queen Aijah Elaine did the call and response for the young queens! Jonathan McMillan assembled the tribes and BCDI Family Literacy Specialist Janet Rene Damon created the classroom literacy lessons for each tribe and their homework.

The moms were invited into our Sankofa Women’s Circle, while father’s had a Fatherhood Circle of their own and served as Reading mentors in the classrooms. The program is also designed to create at home libraries through National BCDI’s Read to Succeed Program, so children took home lots of books tonight and will every week!

After the 3 week literacy camp ends they will have earned all of the knowledge needed to be awarded their very own crown!

Next week will build ecosystems with Toi Massey’s JEKL Foundation in her creation of Shuri’s Lab! And our 3rd week will conclude with T’Challa’s Rite of Passage with Tyrone Beverly’s Im’Unique.

Early Literacy Pilot Kickoff

The Early Literacy Kickoff was a great success! We are so grateful for all our partners and volunteers for it wouldn’t have been a big success without them.We look forward to improving the literacy capacity in this community.

For more info about the Early Literacy Pilot, click here.

2018 Early Literacy Pilot


FREE Literacy Programming in the Summer & 2018-2019 School Year!


The Early Literacy Initiative aims to help children in Park Hill thrive by cultivating confident readers that truly enjoy books and are ready for high-quality learning!

Park Hill Collective Impact is a network of partners that have come together to set common goals. Early literacy success is the first area that the community and our partners will address as we align our efforts to ensure the success of each child in Park Hill. We will be working with children between Kindergarten and Fourth Grade and their families to connect them to early literacy-focused programming and events in the community.

Who qualifies to participate?

All Roots Families with scholars also enrolled at the Boys & Girls Club for summer/after School programming.


How will my child benefit?

Through partnership with Boys and Girls Club, your child will receive targeted literacy programming throughout the summer using the Accelerated Reader program and leveraging support from the Denver Public Library’s Summer Reading Program. Once the school year begins, your child will receive free literacy tutoring by Roots Teachers twice a week after school. 

This program is not just designed for scholars, though! Families are asked to participate in the STAND for Children Parent Programs that include a series of 4 classes on how to best support literacy skills in your home and for your child. Families are also encouraged to participate in 2 literacy focused community activities over the course of the year.

Collective Partners:

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Education

The Greater Park Hill neighborhood has a long history as a leader in the fight against discrimination in housing and schools. Beginning in the 1950’s, neighborhood leaders like Art and Bea Branscombe and Rachel Noel organized to oppose redlining in the housing market and segregation in the schools.

Today we face many of the same issues of gentrification and segregation in our neighborhood. Park Hill Neighbors for Equity in Education (PHNEE) is a group of concerned parents, neighbors, and community members working together to address current inequities in our neighborhood elementary schools and to inspire a revitalization of community leadership on these issues.

On January 27th, PHNEE hosted a community event featuring presentations from community leaders, Nita Mosby-Tyler (Chief Catalyst at The Equity Project) and Alan Gottlieb (co-founder of Chalkbeat, and owner of Write.Edit.Think.LLC) on the current state of Park Hill’s neighborhood schools.

Over 150 community members united to discuss the issues facing the community in small groups, beginning the much needed conversation on the state of the schools.