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A writing gem in North Philadelphia encourages students to be creative

By Peak Johnson on Jun 11, 2012 01:19 PM

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.

Reflections of a CCP grad, part IV

By Peak Johnson on May 18, 2012 04:16 PM

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.

Afterschool program helps students climb to new heights

By Peak Johnson on Feb 7, 2012 05:16 PM

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."

Reflections of a CCP grad, part III

By Peak Johnson on Nov 4, 2011 06:00 PM

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.

The 'write' stuff

By Peak Johnson on Aug 19, 2011 01:51 PM

“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:

  • "thwack,"
  • "ooof,"
  • "bam,"
  • "ka-pow."
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