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Summer activities for kids and families | Week of July 27

By the Notebook on Jul 28, 2015 02:14 PM

Tuesday

Come to World Cafe Live to give kids a chance to see other kids’ talent in action at The School of Rock Allstars performance. The show is made up of young music students who have performed multiple concerts and who their school plugs as “simply some of the best young musicians in the country.”  The show starts at 7 p.m.

Tuesday night in Gorgas Park is filled with fun for kids. First, there’s a kid-friendly concert by Philly band The Plants. Then, at 7 p.m. snacks and activities will be available while kids wait for the sun to go down and the screening of Big Hero 6 to begin.

Wednesday

This summer, Shakespeare in Clark Park is presenting The Winter’s Tale every day between July 29 and Aug. 2. The free show will entertain audiences with the comic and tragic story about royals Leontes and Polixenes. The show features established Philadelphia actors alongside blossoming child actors.

P.M. at the P.M. comes back to the Penn Museum on Wednesday for a night of dancing and music from El Caribefunk, a band from Colombia who blends Caribbean music with funk and salsa. The event runs from 5 to 8 p.m., and is free for kids under 6 and museum members, $10 for older non-members.

Gentle introductions to our elders

By Christopher A. Brown on Jul 24, 2015 11:58 AM

National Senior Citizens Day is Aug. 21. To celebrate the golden-agers in our lives, let’s take a look at three books that prominently feature elderly characters.

Grandpa Green

In a touching book that examines the concepts of generational history, oral tradition, memory, and love, Grandpa Green, by Lane Smith, sweetly portrays the story of a boy and his great-grandfather.

Concerns and 'nuanced' case for merging two low-performing schools

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Jul 24, 2015 10:03 AM

In the old Kensington High School building, two distinct schools have their own budgets, principals and classes. There's even a physical barrier, a kind of wall between the two spaces.

Essence Whiting, a rising sophomore at one of the schools, Kensington Urban Education Academy, said there are doors in the wall, but students stay on their own sides. She said she prefers Kensington Urban -- which has just over 300 students -- and relationships she has there over her old middle school, where the grades were three times as large.

For some Pa. schools, fiscal hardship will drag on

By Mary Wilson for NewsWorks on Jul 22, 2015 07:01 PM

Pennsylvania schools represent a growing chunk of the school districts that have the most desperate finances in the country, according to one credit rating agency.

Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the credit of eight Pennsylvania school districts since March, and it says the worst of those aren't likely to recover anytime soon.

Maryland developers see opportunity in closed school buildings

By Jared Brey for PlanPhilly on Jul 21, 2015 01:04 PM

A group of real estate investors from Bethesda, Maryland, are betting big on Philadelphia schools — the closed ones, anyway.

In the next few months, Concordia Group expects to close on a deal to purchase five school buildings put up for sale two years ago when the Philadelphia School District was trying to raise money through real estate sales. The former schools, in Pennsport, Point Breeze, Port Richmond and Germantown, had all been shut down. According to the School District, Concordia is expected to pay $6.8 million for the five buildings.

Philly region Republicans weigh in on severance tax, budget deadlock

By Laura Benshoff for NewsWorks on Jul 21, 2015 11:43 AM

Sweating under the midday sun, nine Republican lawmakers from Southeast Pennsylvania took Gov. Wolf to task on the steps of the Montgomery County Courthouse for what they called "campaign" tactics during budget negotiations.

As the state's budget deadlock stretches into its fourth week, the governor's administration and Republican legislators are each engaging in a campaign to sway public opinion about spending. In an unusual move, relatively moderate Republicans in the Philadelphia suburbs called out the governor for messaging that they say isn't fair.

Ethics Board fines teachers' union over contribution

By Dave Davies for NewsWorks on Jul 21, 2015 11:26 AM

The Philadelphia Board of Ethics has fined the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers $1,500 for contributions to City Council candidate Helen Gym in violation of the city's campaign finance law.

Political committees are permitted to give candidates for municipal office no more than $11,500 per year. The board found (and the PFT admitted) that the union's political committee gave Gym's campaign twice that, routing a second contribution through the committee of the American Federation of Teachers' Pennsylvania chapter.

Summer activities for kids and families | Week of July 20

By Greg Windle on Jul 20, 2015 10:52 AM

Looking for affordable summer activities for kids in Philadelphia? Here’s a great list of upcoming activities this week – free museum trips, outdoor movie screenings, music festivals, and more.

29 District schools to get new principals

By the Notebook on Jul 17, 2015 04:15 PM

For two tumultuous years, an alarming number of schools in the School District of Philadelphia opened with new principals at the helm. This year, there have been far fewer principal departures.

'Hunger doesn’t take a vacation'

By Samantha Weiss and Michaela Ward on Jul 17, 2015 02:00 PM

It’s lunchtime at the Gesu School summer camp, and Laura Weatherby, who leads the summer meal site there, calls up kids by class. Students file one by one to the front of the room to get their cartons of milk and boxed lunches. Today’s meal: carrots, an apple, a cheese stick, and a soy nut butter and jelly sandwich.

Weatherby carefully tallies the number of kids who take a box to make sure no one misses a lunch, provided free of charge to students.

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