Washington University's youth Alberti Program receives large pledge from local firm


Fourth through ninth grade students from 145 St. Louis schools participate in the Alberti Program, learning problem solving through architecture. (Sam Fox School)

Washington University in St. Louis‘ Alberti Program for youth architecture has been given a major boost from the St. Louis–based design and planning firm PGAV Destinations in the form of a pledge of $125,000 and volunteer time.

The Alberti Program, started in 2006, is administered by the Sam Fox School’s College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design, and engages students in fourth through ninth grade from regional schools. With a focus on architectural problem solving and sustainability, the program’s goal is to reach the most diverse demographic of students possible.

So far the program has worked with students from 145 elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the St. Louis area. Of those, one third of the schools are located in communities with per capita yearly income of less than $18,000.

Free to participants, program runs on weekends throughout the academic year and on weekdays during a summer session.

The contribution form PGAV will provide new resources to students, and insure the program can continue to operate at no cost to participants as it is distributed over the next five years.


Prof. Jaymon Diaz of the Sam Fox School discusses “Making Things.” (Sam Fox School)

PGAV Destinations specializes in cultural and amusement design, with projects ranging from aquariums and museums to theme parks and casinos. The pledge from PGAV is part of the offices 50th anniversary, and will include dedicated volunteer time from the offices designers along with the monetary contribution.

The volunteer time will include guest speaking, office visits to the firm’s St. Louis headquarters, as well as classroom instruction. Along with general support for the program the $125,000 will help with costs associated with field trips, lecturers, and executing hands-on projects produced by the students.

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