As I Plant This Seed non-profit re-opens providing new free, fun programs for Philly youth

A ribbon cutting at the Treehouse in Hunting Park occurred for the grand re-opening of the non-profit As I Plant This Seed. It was closed for a few months due to renovations and development of new resources and programs for the youth.

"It was above my expectations all the support that came out. We had over 350 attendees," said CEO and Founder Ryan Harris who, with the help of staff, volunteers and donors, held a community event Saturday to get the youth energized.

"The kids walked away with money and all the kids walked away with gifts," said Harris.  

It’s the kickoff to a new season and a renewed effort to keep the youth busy and safe.


"We know that right now going into this transition of spring to summer, gun violence picks up. The violence is picking up," said Harris.

Monday evening, families with younger children were at the Treehouse, but for the older kids there are things like boxing, jumping rope, graphic design classes, tutoring and a music-producing program.

"We just added poetry to this season. So, poetry class. We’re definitely trying to get the kids to tap into more reading and writing in a fun way and an inviting way," said Harris. "We also have cosmetology. The kids love that," he said.

The Treehouse also now features two new murals bearing positive messages to encourage the youth. 

However,Harris also has a message for adults.

"Being mindful of all the things that your child might be able to get into. If you put them into a structured program somewhere like the Treehouse or other programs that are available all over the city, I think they may have a better chance of coming out of this summer alive," he said. 

Programs and resources at the As I Plant This Seed Treehouse are free. Registration for new youth begins this week.