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Stories tagged: March

State of the art in literacy instruction


Dale Mezzacappa

on Jan 28, 2015 04:42 PM

On a January morning at the Ziegler Elementary School in the Lower Northeast, art teacher Regina Feighan-Drach was dressed like a Native American shaman. For an hour and a half, two classes of 30 kindergarten students were magically transported to another era and culture.

How can this be?

It has to do with teaching kids to read.

And with local restaurateur Rob Wasserman.

About this edition

By the Notebook on Jan 28, 2015 12:26 PM

Funding in part for this edition of the Notebook on early literacy and the READ! by 4th campaign was provided by Wells Fargo, which is proud to be the lead corporate sponsor of READ! by 4th.

Additional funding was provided by Public Health Management Corporation and its affiliate, the Public Health Fund. These nonprofits focus on solving broad public health issues in the region and believe that high-quality education and literacy are a foundation for a successful community where everyone prospers.

Reading, by the numbers

By the Notebook on Jan 28, 2015 12:01 PM

Only 40 percent of District 3rd graders score proficient or better in reading

In 2014, only two in five District 3rd graders met state standards for reading proficiency, based on the PSSA. Statewide, 70 percent of students score proficient. 

Citywide data for charter schools were not available. See here for proficiency rates for individual charter schools.



A child language expert talks about the literacy gap and the '6 Cs' of learning


Paul Jablow

on Jan 28, 2015 11:01 AM

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek is a psychology professor at Temple University, where she is also the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow and director of Temple's Infant & Child Laboratory.

Hirsh-Pasek said research showing that children in poverty usually hear far fewer words than their better-off counterparts is important. But she said this issue has been viewed too simplistically. Quality counts just as much as quantity, she said.

The Notebook interviewed Hirsh-Pasek about early literacy and the challenges facing children who are learning to read.  

Save the date: June 9; more on behavioral health


Wendy Harris

on Jan 28, 2015 10:32 AM

It’s time to put the Notebook’s annual Turning the Page for Change event on your calendar. This year’s event is on Tuesday, June 9, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St. Admission is $75.

Attendees will enjoy student journalism awards, exciting prizes, student musicians, fantastic food, and conversation with some of the city’s most knowledgeable people in public education.

Answering a call to action

By the Notebook on Jan 28, 2015 10:07 AM

To the editors:

As seniors at Masterman, we have faced the hardships that the education budget cuts have imposed. Whether it’s missing guidance counselors or a lack of paper, cuts have directly affected us. We’ve been hit hard over the past couple of years, and we have continually fought for our right to a decent education – attending protests and attempting to have our voices heard.

We must be thankful to the adults and those with stronger, louder, active voices who worked on our behalf, specifically the state representative from our neighborhood, Cherelle Parker.

Everyday math in Harrisburg


Eric Joselyn

on Jan 28, 2015 10:12 AM

E.M. Stanton students help plan new playground

By the Notebook on Jan 28, 2015 10:17 AM

Students at E.M. Stanton Elementary in Southwest Center City work on drawings of their ideas for a new playground and schoolyard that are expected to debut by spring or summer 2016. Stanton was awarded a $425,000 grant from the Trust for Public Land (TPL) – a nonprofit that creates parks and protects land – to design and build the structures. Students are helping with the development. Third, 4th, and 5th graders will meet weekly with TPL staff to discuss design, water management, and green infrastructure.

Parent advocate prioritizes fight for adequate funding


Shannon Nolan

on Jan 27, 2015 01:02 PM

It was the districtwide budget cuts in the spring of 2011 that led Philadelphia parent Rebecca Poyourow to start reading the Notebook.

“When I was scrambling to find out information about the District and about public education politics in the state when the budget cuts hit, [the Notebook] was the obvious place to go,” Poyourow, 46, said.

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