September 2019–June 2020
At Natural Creativity, young people explore their interests in a supportive and stimulating environment.
6001 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19144
on the grounds of FUMCOG (First United Methodist Church of Germantown)
Natural Creativity's programs run Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Everyone works in multi-age groups as well as in pairs and independently. Activities are either initiated by the young people themselves or introduced by Staff or Visiting Artists to meet individual needs and expand the possibilities for new explorations.
FUMCOG is our current home as we work to acquire and renovate a permanent site. The Natural Creativity Center is a non-denominational organization.
4–11 year olds
Young people are provided free access to a wide array of tools and raw materials (woodworking, pottery, writing, arts and crafts, electronics) with which to pursue their interests, as well as shelves stocked with prepared materials (math manipulatives, books, puzzles, construction sets such as K’Nex and CitiBlocks, etc.) with which to work/play. Our adult facilitators maintain a stimulating, safe, and inviting environment that helps build a supportive community of fellow learners and creators. The youth build, design, play, negotiate, explore, experiment, invent…all in pursuit of knowledge that is sparked by their interests as well as the offerings from others. They express themselves vocally and in writing, through drama and movement (both indoors and out), and they learn how to resolve differences constructively and collaboratively.
Academic instruction is offered when it is invited and when it is developmentally appropriate. We do not force lessons on anyone, and we work to ensure that a youth first understands the concepts that underlie a topic (such as a mathematical function like multiplication or algebra). We promote understanding, not rote memorization, in our definition of what is truly “educational”. This allows young people to build skills and comprehension that are highly transferable and that serve as the foundation for lifelong learning.
11–17 year olds
This program brings together pre-teens and teens who want to work together and form a close-knit community that will supplement their pursuit of their individual interests. This can take many forms:
a chess partner
a cluster of friends to give you feedback on your writing or join you in figuring out how to solve various math problems
a mixed-age group to work together to address a broader community issue such as creek pollution or low voter turnout
someone to help you build an electrified dollhouse for your little brother or sister
people to talk to about what is going on in the adult world of politics and international relations and perhaps how young people could make a positive impact
friends and adults to help you prepare for, and achieve, college admission, or to help you establish a business that could become your career
an adult to help you study for the G.E.D., or explore your interest in astronomy, architecture, 3-D printing, computer programming, farming, 18th century English literature, stamp collecting, graphic design
This list is endless, because the possibilities of what young people are interested in learning and creating is also endless.
Our program for teens also provides direct instruction in The Creative Process as defined by Natural Creativity. Our facilitators draw on the work of people who have specialized in this area, such as George Prince (co-founder of Synectics, Inc.), Robert Fritz (composer and author of The Path of Least Resistance), and Natural Creativity’s co-founder, Peter Bergson. NC youth will be encouraged to learn a formal process for solving problems and addressing opportunities creatively.