Need in Deed’s community partners bring the “real world” into the classroom.

Every year, we invite individuals from local government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and higher education and health institutions to step into Need in Deed classrooms across the city. Bringing “real world” insights and expertise, Need in Deed community partners field students’ questions, listen to their ideas, and help them think about solutions for the issues they care about.

Because the students in each Need in Deed classroom identify the issue they want to explore and address through service projects, we make community partner matches accordingly, calling on a wide array of individuals and organizations in any given year. Partner have included staff of the city’s Water department, police community liaisons, curators from the Zoo, neuroscientists, staff from Project HOME and the PSPCA, museum exhibit specialists, mental health advocates, art therapists, representatives of an anti-violence campaign, and more.

We also call on community partners as we explore with our teacher partners ways to improve teaching and learning or to understand issues that affect students and schools.

What does it take to be a community partner?

Community partners are willing to teach and to learn.

Need in Deed community partners listen to the students’ questions and honor their unique interest in an issue.

Need in Deed staff work with community partners to help them understand the issue that the students have chosen, the angle they are pursuing, the grade level of the class, and the teacher’s curricular goals.

Each year, the individuals who serve in this way gain appreciation for the enormous potential of the city’s young people. Stepping inside the schools, they see both the challenges that teachers and students face and their remarkable achievements.

Interested? Email Program Director Julia Chrestay at


These are some of the organizations whose leaders and staff have recently shared their experience, knowledge, and perspectives with Need in Deed classrooms and our teacher partners.

ACE Mentor Program


Alice Paul Institute

American Friends of Combatants for Peace

Angels in Motion


Back on My Feet

Bennett Compost

Broad Street Ministries

CeaseFire PA

Cecil B. Moore Philadelphia Freedom Fighters

Children First

Center for Hunger Free Communities

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Violence Prevention Institute

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Homelessness Health Initiative

Clean Air Council

Clean Water Action

Community Health Partnerships

Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP)

Cradle to the Grave (Temple University Hospital)

Discovery Center

Educating Communities for Parenting

EMIR Healing Center

Fairmount Park Conservancy

Fairmount Water Works

Familiar Hearts Animal Society

Families for Ceasefire

Free Library of Philadelphia

Get Healthy Philly

Helen Gym, City Council


History Hunters, Johnson House

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Japanese American Citizens League

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful

Kelly Green Project

Lightbulb Literacy

Loyola University Chicago

Mazzoni Center

Mending Spirit

Mental Health Partnerships

Minding Your Mind

National Museum of American Jewish History

Nature PHL

New Sanctuary Movement

Northwest Victims Service Center

PA House of Representatives, Rep. Brian Sims


Penn Museum

Pennsylvania SPCA

Pennsylvania State Police Office of Community Engagement

The Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia Research Initiative

Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting

Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office

Philadelphia Education Fund

Philadelphia Inquirer


Philadelphia Office of Children and Families

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Police Training Academy

Philadelphia Police Department

Philadelphia Water Department

Project HOME

Rutgers University, Camden

Safe Routes Philly

Sanctuary Village

Savage Sisters

School District of Philadelphia, Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness

School District of Philadelphia,Office of Sustainability

School District of Philadelphia, Food Services

Sleeping Mat Project

Soil Generation

Swarthmore Fellows for Philly Schools

Sunrise Movement

Temple University Katz School of Medicine

The Advocacy Institute

Thomas Jefferson Hospital, Maternity Care

Thomas Jefferson Hospital, Mindfulness Institute

Tree Philly

University of Pennsylvania

Up Against the Law

Valley Youth House

Village of Arts and Humanities

William Way Center 

Women in Transition

Women Organized Against Rape