Peak Johnson is a native of North Philadelphia. He is a graduate from Community College of Philadelphia and will be attending Temple University in the fall of 2011. Johnson’s writing career began in 2002 when he and others developed a teen community newspaper known as, The North Philly Metropolis, a publication of the non-profit organization Project HOME.
Serving as editor of the teen produced newspaper for six years before leaving, Johnson has written for various publications since then, both print and online, for the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, The Philadelphia Weekly, and The Student Vanguard.
Today, Johnson currently works for the HOME Page Café.
Not far from a bustling street and directly across from a heavily populated neighborhood sits a community beautifully decorated with sculptures and murals by The Village of Arts and Humanities.
Deep within their North Philadelphia community, students of the Spells Writing Lab prepare for a daily routine of writing, reading, and other engaging activities.
So, how’s Temple?
Funny, last year at this time, I graduated from the Community College of Philadelphia and asked the same exact question of students I knew at Temple University. Now, when I visit CCP, I get asked the question.
So far, Temple has been great. It is challenging at times, but I wouldn’t change it. CCP prepared me to know what to expect of college-level work and how to best tackle it. CCP taught me those skills I was lacking a few years prior.
An immense collection of books fills the shelves of Tree House Books. From Best American Essays by Annie Dillard to Sula by Toni Morrison to a shelf dedicated to children’s author Lemony Snicket.
Tree House Books, a nonprofit organization in North Philadelphia, works to “grow and sustain a community of readers, writers, and thinkers” through afterschool and enrichment programs. Neighborhood children participate in the literacy program called Life With Books.
"I like moving up a reading level," said 5th grader Dominique Cooper. "I like reading and being able to do my homework."
When I received my letter from Temple University accepting me into the dual admissions program, I was ecstatic and slightly nervous. I entered the Community College of Philadelphia with the goal of transferring to Temple University to complete a degree in journalism.
This has been my dream for some time. I have been writing and regarded as the "community journalist," but I never had a formal education in the field. I wrote by modeling past afterschool instructors. When I received that acceptance letter, I knew I could not only continue with my goal, but also finally get a formal education in journalism.
“I like all of the classes,” said eight-year-old Jada Lowery of the offerings at Mighty Writers. “I just can’t decide.”
When first entering Mighty Writers at 1501 Christian in South Philadelphia you are greeted by a large red and white "MW"sign with surrounding comic book phrases: