Debby Pollak

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Donald M. Black, Sr.
Barbara Bloom
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Doris L. Clinkscale
Julie Cox
Kate and Thomas Deahl
Fred Dedrick
George C. Draper
Bob Elfant
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Kimbleton and Miller
Andy Lamas
Martha Kent Martin
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Debby Pollak
Shirley Ransome
Daisy Reddick
Harold Rush
Steve Stroiman
Tim Styer
Yvonne Thompson-Friend
Mabel Williams
Dr. William Winston
Dan Winterstein

Debby Pollak


Debby Pollak is an art teacher at Project Learn who has found a new way to integrate her school and the community. With Chris Miller, Joan Fox, and Nancy Agati, Debby instituted and runs First Saturday, a morning of art instruction that is held the first Saturday of every month during the school year at Project Learn. First Saturday is open to free of charge to Germantown and Mt. Airy children from 5 to 14 years of age.

First Saturday was begun because Debby and other teachers at Project Learn felt that the school “was not as much part of the neighborhood as it should be.” “We didn’t have many kids from that our part of the neighborhood. I used to work for the Art Museum and we did a lot of outreach programs. So we had this idea to open our school and invite the community in. I decided to do this with the Art program. The first Saturday we had 20 kids. It really started to fly. There have been times when we have 40 children or more. We got money from FUMCOG and a couple of other places earmarked for Germantown and Mt. Airy Kids to pay for the art materials. Project Learn donates the space.” And Debby and the other teachers donate a great deal of time and effort.

Both students and teachers enjoy First Saturday. “I hope it continues to be as fun for the kids as it has been so far,” She says. “It is always fun for us. When you teach school every class you teach has kid who have to be there. There are wonderful moments but there are also harder moments. In First Saturday there is never a bad moment because kids choose to come.”

First Saturday has more than fulfilled its purpose.  “Now, when I leave school, I see kids that I teach on Saturday. The school doesn’t feel so foreign to the neighborhood.” Project Learn is continuing to develop other programs that follow the First Saturday model. “Another teacher has started Second Saturday Games. At some point maybe we will do a dance or a drama program, as well.”