January 23, 2014 |
EACH OF Pennsylvania's 26 state prisons is mandated by law to employ a librarian with a master's degree and to have a large collection of books and periodicals. But no state law requires the same for public schools. "I think it's backward," said David Florig, executive director of the West Philadelphia Alliance for Children, a nonprofit promoting childhood literacy in West Philly. "Early reading is key to success in school and staying on track. " Only 11 of 212 schools in the Philadelphia School District have libraries.
December 23, 2013 |
WITH MORE than half of its third-graders behind in reading skills, Philadelphia has signed on to take part in a national campaign to boost literacy in the early grades. Mayor Nutter and Superintendent William Hite made the announcement yesterday, joining 140 other cities and communities around the country that participate in the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. The campaign's goal is to double the number of students reading at grade level by the end of third grade - a key indicator of future success - by 2020.
June 28, 2013 |
WHETHER you've escaped down the shore or are keeping cool at home in the air-conditioning, summer is the perfect time for passing the lazy, hazy afternoons with a few good page-turners. To encourage everyone in Philadelphia to get reading this summer, the Free Library has issued a big challenge as part of our annual Summer Reading program: We're asking all residents of our fair city to collectively read a grand total of 20 million minutes! That may seem like a lot, but with everyone's help, we can reach this momentous goal.
June 12, 2013
WHENEVER I URGE people to stop being serial auto-loan consumers, I get bewildered looks. I mean it. Pay cash for your car and make the math work in your favor. I get that you might not be able to get off the car-loan circuit right away. But once you pay off one car loan, continue making the payments - but to yourself. The average length of vehicle ownership for a new car has increased to nearly six years, according to R.L. Polk & Co., which owns the used-car history provider Carfax.
May 29, 2013 |
TODAY, THERESA Kellenbenz is reading this column. Until recently, this is something the 65-year-old great-grandmother could not do. "I can read words now, books. " Kellenbenz, a wisp of a woman, glows when she says this. "I've read about 15 books. Not real high books, but I read them. " That would be a big enough accomplishment for anyone. But as nurturing grandmothers tend to do, Kellenbenz wanted her family to share in her success. So, shortly after starting the literacy tutoring program last year at the Lutheran Settlement House in Fishtown, Kellenbenz encouraged her 46-year-old daughter, Dawn Marston, to join.
May 5, 2013
SUNDAY Seventh annual Richard's River Run 5K, 9 a.m. at Cooper River Park, Pennsauken. Go4theGoal will host. Long Branch Half Marathon, Long Branch, N.J. njmarathon.org Bucks County 10-miler, Washington Crossing. runbucks.com SATURDAY Rock N' Run 4 Kids, 5K & kids fun run. Coca-Cola Park, Allentown. rocknrun4kids.com Elwyn 5K, on Elwyn's campus, 111 Elwyn Rd., Elwyn 9 a.m. 610-891-2298. 34th Great Cape May Footrace, Beach Ave. & Stockton Place, 8 a.m. active.com NEXT SUNDAY 23d annual Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure, at Eakins Oval/Philadelphia Museum of Art. 5K, 8:15 a.m. Information and registration: komenphiladelphia.org MAY 18 Fallen Heroes 5k Run and 1-mile family walk.
April 30, 2013
Invest in a flash-mob antidote Time is running out for the current generation of children enrolled in underperforming city schools. We cannot be satisfied with the current 57 percent high school graduation rate - a significant number of whom are graduating at eighth-grade reading and math levels. We cannot be satisfied that only 10 percent of all Philadelphia public school students will graduate from college. What future will these children have? The good news is that Philadelphia-area businesses - both large and small - can change the course of an economically disadvantaged child, family, and community at little or no cost.
April 12, 2013 |
SUIT UP, friends. The growing anti-#PhillyShrug™ army is heading out. The campaign kicked off last month with a custom T-shirt made by my pals at Airtime Airbrush in the Gallery at Market East. (Have you gotten your T-shirt yet? Twenty five bucks and you're official.) Pockets of non-shruggers all over the city have stepped up to join: Community groups who fought off projects they didn't think were right for their neighborhoods. College students who've identified the same pervasive apathy and are determined to change it. Prisoners who have written me about their plans to dump the Philly Shrug that they partly blame for their troubles.
March 19, 2013
A LEJANDRO Gac-Artigas, 24, of Center City, wants to eradicate the literacy gap among Philly's schoolchildren. Two years ago, the Harvard grad and then-first-grade teacher at Pan American Academy Charter School founded the nonprofit Springboard Collaborative to run a summer-reading program. This summer, Springboard expects to have 960 students in the program. Q: What's your background? A: From 2009 to 2011, I taught 34 students literacy and social studies. I also got a master's degree at night from the School of Graduate Education at Penn and I was tapped for Wharton's Venture Initiation Program.
March 6, 2013 |
City of Chester officials will announce today that the city has received a grant to support a financial literacy course for the city's summer youth program. The $4,000 DollarWise Grant Award, from the the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, will support a six-week paid internship for Chester youths. The program is designed to provide hands-on work experience and professional development. There is also a financial educational component. Chester officials and those from four other cities - Wichita, St. Louis, Kokomo, IN and Richmond, VA - learned they were awarded the grant at the U.S. Conference of Mayors this past January.