Innovative Program

Ninth grade Lower Merion social studies teacher Thomas Reed sponsors the school’s chapter of buildOn. A non-profit organization, buildOn empowers U.S. high school students through in-class and intensive after-school programs. In addition to tremendous contributions of community service in their own cities and neighborhoods, buildOn youth actually build schools and bring literacy to children and adults in developing countries around the world. Programs are designed to build confidence and real-world capabilities in American youth while also empowering communities world-wide to overcome the crippling cycle of illiteracy, poverty and low expectations by opening the door to education.

Lower Merion buildOn members have participated in community service projects including charity walks, working at Philabundance, volunteering at the Special Olympics, planting trees and cleaning up trails, among many other activities. During the past two years, the teams have raised more than $90,000 to construct a pair of schools in impoverished rural villages in Haiti.

The 18 members of the 2014 Trek team, which for the first time unites students from Lower Merion with Harriton’s buildOn club, has set its fundraising goal at $91,950 to fund the construction of a school in Nepal. To learn more, visit the team’s fundraising page.