Philadelphia third-grader bakes to repair playground

Naomi Bloom's efforts will help bring new life to the Henry H Houston School's playground.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Naomi Bloom is an energetic third-grader at Henry H. Houston Elementary School in Philadelphia's Mount Airy section. Her mother, Alison Cohen, said she always knew that Bloom was special.

"When she was two years old, she knew the names of all 50 states," Cohen said.

Now, at seven years old, she sounds like a businesswoman with a simple idea.

"I just really wanted some money and I really like baking, why not earn some money doing what I like?" said Bloom.

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Her family helped her start a bakery delivery business with the goal of funding their neighborhood's restoration project for the Houston Elementary School's playground. It needs repairs for rotting wood beams, rusty nails, and structurally unsafe spaces. They raise money using a matching donation concept.

"We would sell her bakery, she would get to keep the revenue from baked goods. Our family committed to matching that for donations," explained Cohen.

In April 2021, Bloom employed her two sisters as delivery drivers, launched a website, and created a name, logo and a menu.

"We bake M&M bars, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, brownie bites, fudge bars, and like small stuff like that," Bloom said.

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Nae Nae's Bake O Rama was a hit in their four-block radius. In the first five weekends of deliveries, the bakery raised $1,500, and to date has earned over $13,000 for the playground.

"For us, it's really important that kids who live in areas that don't have playgrounds have the opportunity for play, and outdoors and greenery," said Cohen. "It's just been a really inspiring demonstration of community support."

Bloom said after the playground is fixed, there is more to do.

"Once we raise enough money to repair the Houston playground repairs, and since owls are my favorite animal, I wanted to donate to some like, raptor or bird shelter," she said.

"Naomi is already doing amazing things, and her potential to do amazing things for the world is infinite," said Cohen. "Naomi makes me proud beyond words every single day."

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