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Events: November is Family Literacy Month

Literacy events and programs provide opportunities to improve the educational outcomes and quality of life in our city and beyond. Throughout November, schools, libraries, and other literacy organizations will be participating through read-a-thons, book drives, celebrity appearances, and more. 

Here are several events worth checking out in Philadalphia. 

 

Life with Books Fundraiser

Tree House Books needs your help to continue to provide reading and literacy programs for the children and families of North Central Philadelphia. All proceeds from this third annual event will go toward the mission of growing and sustaining a community of readers, writers, and thinkers. Tree House Books believes literacy is a public health issue that needs to be addressed one family at a time, every day.

Nov. 8 (6-8:30 p.m.)
WHYY
Independence Mall West
150 N. Sixth St.
Philadelphia 19106

 

Literacy Night 

Mastery Charter School Shoemaker Parent Teacher Association is hosting its first Literacy Night. The event includes a book fair, interactive writing workshops, poetry, and prizes. There's no registration fee. Refreshments will be served. 

Nov. 8 (4:30-7:30 p.m.)
5301 Media St.
Philadelphia 19131

 

Celebration of Writing and Literacy

Philadelphia Writing Project's annual event brings teachers together to share their work with students throughout the city. This year's theme is “Leveraging the Resources We Have.” Special presentations will be made by PhilaSOUP and TAG Philly, with a keynote address by Stacy Holland, co-founder of the Philadelphia Youth Network.

Nov. 10 (8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.)
Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
3700 Walnut St.
Philadelphia 19104

 

First Person Arts Festival

The 11th annual First Person Arts Festival showcases themes of legacy, heritage, family, and identity. The only festival of its kind in the world, presented by Penn’s Master of Liberal Arts Program, First Person is dedicated to the power of personal stories told through all genres of art: stand-up storytelling, theater, memoir-writing, dance, and more. This year’s festival features comedian Janeane Garofalo; celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson; Philadelphia’s poet laureate, Sonia Sanchez; Philly food writer Rick Nichols, new works by First Person Arts RAW artists, the inaugural PNC Arts Alive Story Day, and everyday Philadelphians in countless programs.

Nov. 7-Nov. 17
Various Locations

 

Mighty Writers

Mighty Writers presents ongoing programs through its Mighty Academy and Teen Writing programs. They offer this tip for families: "The most important thing parents can do to increase their children's reading levels and school performance is to read to them. Read story books, newspapers and magazines. Read novels or articles that you think might be a little too hard. Keep reading together as a family every night, and watch your child succeed."

Throughout November
1501 Christian St.
Philadelphia 19146

 

Spells Writing Lab

Spells Writing Lab presents ongoing programs, including tutoring, workshops, partnership with schools, and professional development opportunities for teachers. Spells develops the creative and expository writing abilities of school-age children through free, fun, and imaginative writing programs.

Throughout November
2526 N. Alder St.
Philadelphia19133

 

Pop-up and Party

At the Village of Arts and Humanities' annual fall fundraising celebration, enjoy food, drink and casual conversation with the board and staff at The Village. Live performances by CRED's poets and musicians. 

Nov. 29 (5:30-8:30 p.m.)
CRED Onsite, a pop-up gallery
325 South St.
Philadelphia 19147

 

PIC Family Book Fest this Saturday!

Celebrate the joy of reading with your child at the Parent-Infant Center’s Family Book Fest this Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street. With stories and crafts for ages 7-under, this event is free and open to the public from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. WXPN’s Kathy O’Connell, host of Kids’ Corner, will join in with read-aloud stories, followed by a concert with Two of a Kind. Enjoy family fun activities, and bring a slightly used children’s book for the swap table and take home some new stories to share with your family.


 

Know of any other literacy events in the area? Leave a note in the comments. 

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Comments (2)

Submitted by Sir Frederick Mercury (not verified) on November 5, 2012 10:43 pm
When is it OK to Cheat? I did not take a test with that woman. – Bill Clinton Announcer: Welcome back to another issue of “On The Fence,” the weekly television show that reveals what is happening and what isn’t in the School District of Philadelphia. Let’s welcome this week’s host, The Michelle Rhee Professor of Testing Integrity at Liberty University, Doug Lynch. Lynched: Welcome in everybody! We have a great show today with two great guests and a cadre of callers. So, let’s dive in. Today’s guests are new to Philadelphia, courtesy of a program known as Teach for America. Each teacher has personal experience with either cheating or not cheating on standardized tests, and each has plenty to say on this hot topic. Both guest have requested anonymity, so we’ll call them Single White Male and Single White Female. Ladies first. SWF, gives a bit of your personal background. SWF: Hi, Doug. Thanks for having me. I grew up in Utah and attended BYU. As you may know, BYU has very strict personal codes of conduct: no drinking, no premarital sex, no smoking. In other words, the raison d’etre for higher education was denied. This led to an existential crisis on my part. I realized I was going to graduate from college completely unqualified to lead an adult life, which only left me with three career options – the military, the clergy or teaching. Lynched: Very interesting. Though entirely undesirable, each of these careers has much in common. So let’s cut to the chase: How did you wind up cheating? SWF: I was an all girls school in North Philly. The principal was a relentless tyrant. She looked a bit like Qaddafi but lacked his innate charm and flair for fashion. I was going crazy worrying about lesson plans, Do Now’s, objectives, Exit Tickets, my big idea, my small ideas, my data analysis, how many candy wrappers were on my floor. It was a lot. I was constantly crying and feeling sorry for myself. I was getting memos left and right and the principal said that if I didn’t produce good test scores she was going to, and I quote, “ship your ass back to Salt Lake City quicker than Michael Nutter can learn to hate Arlene Ackerman.” Lynched: Wow! SWF: I really had no choice. It was easy. No one paid attention to test security, so I did it. Lo and behold I had the highest scores in the school and the principal rewarded me with her personal assistant’s job when the PA left to become a skiing instructor with TFA’s teacher camp in Boulder. Lynched: Wow! Now, I know you came to regret your decision. What happened? SWF: Well, my principal got a job at 440 and she actually thought I was a great teacher so she promptly removed me from the classroom and took me with her. My new job started out great. All I had to do was go on these walk-throughs, sit in different classrooms, text my boyfriend or buy stuff on the internet and then write three different reports. One teacher was described as terrible, one as meeting standards, and the other as the best teacher ever. What a sweet gig! Lynched: What went wrong? SWF: Well, basically since I was in charge of holding teachers accountable I was totally unaccountable myself. I stopped paying attention altogether and one day I assigned the bad review to my best friend and roommate. Her name was on the lease. She kicked me out and I wound up squatting in the Teacher Jail. The only good thing about it was that it was the same room where they kept Hope Moffett, so I felt like I was part of history. Lynched: That does sound kind of cool. Kind of like visiting Mandela’s cell on Robbins Island. SWF: You should have seen the graffiti. You’d be surprised by how many things rhyme with Ackerman. Lynched: Let’s turn to SWM. What’s your story. SWM: I was in my senior year at Harvard, and like my colleague, was experiencing an existential crisis. I started Harvard wanting to be a Hip Hop artist, so I majored in Black Studies. All of my friends were either in Harvard Business School or heading to Harvard Law school and they began to ostracize me. They felt that I was destined to be a loser or an employee at some lame non-profit. They stopped inviting me to play squash and summer at the Vineyard. I needed redemption and I needed it fast. TFA would help me get that urban street cred and then I could move on to bigger and better things. Lynched: What was the culture around testing at your school? SWM: At Harvard? Lynched: No, your school in Philly. SWM: Well, if you were in the Principal’s inner circle you didn’t even need to give the test. They gave all the goody two-shoes an answer sheet and had them fill in all the test books and put all the other kids in a separate room. They had Pizza Parties and watched this educational documentary called Lean on Me. Whatever. Me and one other teacher refused to capitulate. Lynched: Why? SWM: Believe it or not, cheating was actually harder work than giving the test. I knew that my kids had absolutely zero chance of scoring well, but what did I care? I preferred the sweet silence of the testing room to the chaos of the other rooms. The pizza in North Philly sucks and I would have liked Lean on Me a lot better if that fat kid actually jumped off the school roof when Joe Clarke told him to. Anyway, I knew that even if my scores were rotten I could get a job as a teaching coach with TFA and live the good life. Lynched: Why, then, do you regret not cheating? SWM: My scores did suck and the principal knew it was because I didn’t bother to cheat. She retaliated by giving me an Unsatisfactory. The PFT told me to shut up and play ball and TFA policy forbids and teacher with a bad rating to be a coach after two years. Now I have to be in the classroom for another whole year before I get that job. Can you spell H-E-L-L? Lynched:
Submitted by Samuel Reed III on November 8, 2012 8:15 pm

I had a great time presenting a "blogging and digiital writing" workshop  at Mastery Charter Shoemaker Campus' Literacy Night. Super engaged audience of students, parents and community members.

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