Celebrating Quality Education

By Matt Izzo

On Thursday, September 30, 2021, the Global Philadelphia Association (GPA), Saint Joseph’s University (SJU), and Samuel Gompers School all celebrated the unveiling of a new mural that brings awareness to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG4) Number 4: Quality Education.

This School District of Philadelphia K-8 school, located in the city’s Wynnewood neighborhood, hosted the event and also received a $3,000 grant from SJU as part of GPA’s SDG Campaign. Isabella Akhtarshenas painted this lively mural which incorporates a tiger, the school’s logo, as well as scissors, rulers, pencils, and calculators to represent classroom activities.  The new panel now greets everyone who comes to the school because it is affixed to one of Gompers’ exterior walls.

Quality Education is the fourth of seventeen SDGs which the United Nations announced in 2015. The goals serve as a cooperative roadmap for individuals, cities, and nations to follow in the hope of creating a more sustainable future. 

Since afternoon dismissal occurred as the event was getting underway, students snacked on treats that GPA provided and investigated the new addition to their school.  The Gompers Drum Line and 6th Grade Choir set a lively tone.  Several speakers followed, including the Principal of Samuel Gompers School Phil DeLuca, Community School Coordinator for the School District of Philadelphia Rennie Parker, Assistant Professor of Social Ethics at SJU James O’Sullivan, and Ms. Akhtarshenas. 

Two Gompers Student Council Members, Ezekiel Gethers and Tamajae Chestnutt reflected on what a quality education meant to them.  Each speaker passionately believed that education is the starting point and gateway to future achievement.  Ms. Akhtarshenas noted that “Education follows us through all aspects of our lives, and when that education is high-quality and well-rounded, it provides lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

These unveiling events herald Philadelphia as the first city in the United States that supports public art to bring recognition to the UN’s SDGs.  Gompers School’s new mural will spread the word about the role of quality education in ensuring future success and global prosperity.