Malvern Prep’s New Center for Social Impact
As an Augustinian School, Catholic and Independent, Malvern Preparatory School’s student-centered, design-based approach to education sets it apart.
Malvern Prep’s new Center for Social Impact, scheduled to open in the fall of 2019, will take the school for boys in sixth through 12th grades to a new level. The building will have flexible learning spaces to integrate subjects like science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts. It will also be the heart of a program for the education of the practical imaginations of Malvern Prep. It is the practical imagination that proposes what we can make, with one another and for others, through rich and meaningful multidisciplinary and multidimensional learning experiences.
“The Center creates a ‘north star’ for us as an institution. Ultimately, this new space will allow us to triple down on what distinguishes Malvern from other schools in the Philadelphia area.” – Patrick Sillup, Assistant Head of School for Academics
The school’s curriculum and atmosphere are guided by Catholic Social Teaching, which emphasizes the social nature of humanity and the ethics of the common good. Building empathy in students helps them to understand the plight of others, and to imagine ways to affect change.
Two questions are the focus of this design-based approach: “Who’s the user?” and “What are his/her needs?” The answers to these questions bring people to the center of any discussion, and become the compass for students as they navigate new territory and try to solve problems.
“The Center for Social Impact is a tangible, tactile representation of the commitment Malvern Prep is making towards serving the needs of others.” – Ron Algeo ’86, Assistant Head of School for Student Leadership
This is a direct correlation Malvern’s mission as an Augustinian school: scripture tells us a story of Jesus preaching to a house so packed with people that the only way in is through the roof. So that is what those who are carrying a paralytic man do– they tear off the tiles, open up the roof, and lower the man down in front of Jesus that he might heal him. Understandably, many look to this story as an example of the awesome healing powers of Jesus. But one can also look to this story as an example of those on the “outside” being let “in.”
The Center for Social Impact will help the Malvern Prep community to deliberately let others in, to create a voice for the voiceless, and to think more deeply and deliberately about the issues impacting surrounding communities.
“Being ‘let in’ is the essence of human-centered design. It is also the foundation of Catholic Social Teaching.” – Fr. Donald F. Reilly, O.S.A., D. Min., Head of School
Photo by Ivory Tree Portraits.
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