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: