The Philadelphia Community School (PCS) has a proud legacy and a hopeful future. Based on the theory of Re-evaluation Counseling — a peer counseling project where participants take turns listening to each other — PCS has become a center for developing understanding about counseling young people, and a place where others can come to share in this learning process.
PCS was conceived in 1979 by a group of friends interested in experimenting with different ways of including play with children. The initial group fostered support for parents and allies of young people, and provided a place for adults to counsel each other on the distresses that surfaced. By 1985 PCS had evolved from an informal experiment to a solid resource with a permanent home at 4625 Baltimore Avenue. The staff and participants had developed enough expertise to expand the program — first to a five-morning preschool, then a kindergarten, then a home-schooling resource for older children.
Over the years, family classes have changed form as the young people have grown and new families with infants have joined. Today PCS offers young people’s counseling classes, school-based family weekend workshops, and continues to experiment with different forms of support for staff, parent and ally classes, and support groups. Visitors and interns from around the world have used their experiences at PCS to bring family work to their home counseling communities in England, Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Spain, Uganda, Australia, and Japan.