The St. Philip’s Child Development Center is located at 2001 14th Street, SE in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, DC. In March 2013, St. Philips became nationally accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in both infant care and early childhood education. Because of this accreditation, the District of Columbia Office of State Superintendant of Education rates St. Philips is rated as a “Gold” licensed provider of early education, its highest rating. In addition, St. Philip’s is a proud member of United Way and the Combined Federal Campaign.
The Center is located within St. Philip’s the Evangelist Episcopal Church. The church is located in the heart of historic Anacostia, a short walk from the Frederick Douglass home. Members of the church have fought to maintain Anacostia as a vibrant community ever since a group of black Episcopalians founded the congregation in 1887. For over a century, church programs have aided toddlers to senior citizens regardless of their religious affiliation. These programs abate poverty and economic despair in the neighborhood through clothes distribution drives, a food bank, computer classes, literacy classes, and summer enrichment programs for students.
But the most significant undertaking was the establishment of St. Philip’s Child Development Center. Several parishioners convinced the church leadership to focus its outreach efforts and help Anacostia’s most vulnerable residents: its children. This vision became a reality on June 12, 2004, when the Center opened its doors and welcomed twenty children. Currently, the Center serves 70 children regardless of religious or ethnic background and maintains a waiting list. The Center is one of a very few in the city to take infants. In March 2005 the IRS recognized the St. Philip’s Child Development Center as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are fully deductible as a charitable contribution.
Anacostia is located in southeast Washington, DC. It was incorporated in 1854 as “Uniontown.” One of the first suburbs in the District of Columbia, it was designed to be affordable for Washington’s working class, many of whom were employed across the river at the Navy Yard. At that time its location was outside of and somewhat isolated from Washington and its real estate was inexpensive.
The initial subdivision of 1854 carried restrictive covenants prohibiting the sale, rental, or lease of property to anyone of African or Irish descent. Later in 1877, abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglass was able to purchase a home that he named Cedar Hill. Additionally, at the end of the Civil War, the federal government’s Freeman’s Bureau purchased the Barry Farm tract of Anacostia for freed slaves to build homes.
Until the 1950’s Anacostia remained predominately white. Due to a number of circumstances, including the construction of a highway that created a barrier between the neighborhood and the Anacostia river waterfront, as well as the construction of public housing developments, whites fled the area. With that, the economic demographic of the neighborhood changed dramatically from middle class to impoverished. According to the 2000 U.S. census, the area is approximately ninety-two percent African American, five percent white American, and one percent or less Asian American, American Indian, or another race. Despite enormous growth in the District of Columbia, the area remains largely poor and crime-ridden.