September 21 — 10:17 pm, 2011

Turning the Page for Change at UArts

At its annual June bash, the Notebook celebrated 17 years as a leading education resource.

june event 32 Photo: Harvey Finkle

The Notebook celebrated 17 years of publishing with its annual Turning the Page for Change event on June 7, giving awards to student journalists and celebrating the continued work of dedicated individuals and organizations to support quality and equity in Philadelphia schools.

Three hundred activists, students, teachers, administrators, parents, city and District officials, and others came to the annual celebration, which was held once again at the University of the Arts’ Hamilton Hall.

Mayor Nutter and his chief education advisor, Lori Shorr, stopped by. Councilman Bill Green, School Reform Commission members Joseph Dworetzky and Johnny Irizarry, and Chief Financial Officer Michael Masch were also among the attendees.

A string quartet from GAMP (Girard Academic Music Program) serenaded the arriving guests, and students from the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) drew caricatures.

Spanish translator Mildred Suazo-Martínez was honored for more than a decade of service to the Notebook. Board member Len Rieser, who proofreads her translations, noted, “We couldn’t possibly have found someone more committed to, or more successful at making our work understood to our Spanish-speaking audience than Milly.”

For the seventh year, the highlight of the program was the presentation of the Notebook’s annual student journalism awards. Five winners and three “Honorable Mentions,” including students who attend the Academy at Palumbo, Esperanza Academy Charter School, and Furness, Sayre, and Bodine high schools, were recognized.

Fourteen publications entered the competition this year: The Centralizer – Central; CHS Chronicles – Constitution; The Eagle Eye – George Washington; Esperanza Post – Esperanza Academy; The Falcon – Furness; The Griffin Gazette, Academy at Palumbo; KCAPA News – Kensington Creative and Performing Arts; Kensington Culinary Voice – Kensington Culinary; Lincoln Log – Lincoln; Masterman Voices – Masterman; Northeast Megaphone – Northeast; The Union Rep – Philadelphia Student Union; Randolph Rant – Randolph Tech; Youth Study Center School Centerfold – Youth Study Center.

“It’s a hopeful sign about student journalism in the city that this year we received more entries than ever,” said Notebook Editor/Director Paul Socolar.

The student journalism awards were co-sponsored by the local publication Al Día. The winning students received prizes, including books and a $100 cash award. Each student’s school newspaper also received a book for their library.

Seventeen other organizations and businesses were sponsors of the event, which raised more than $42,000 for the Notebook.

In addition, the Notebook welcomed more than 30 people who signed up to become new members at the event. The Notebook’s membership – individuals and organizations who make an annual gift of $30 or more – now exceeds 500.

2011 Student Journalism Awards

This year’s winners included:

  • Column-writing: Antwan Currie, “Fashion Flash,” Griffin Gazette, Academy at Palumbo

  • School news: Paul Benavidez, various articles including “The Suits Are Back: District Walkthroughs” and “What Do the Budget Cuts Mean for Furness?” The Falcon, Furness High School

  • Commentary: Jaileah Gibson, “Building Power: Youth Power Summit Ignites the Campaign for Nonviolent Schools,” The Union Rep, Philadelphia Student Union

  • Data reporting: Esperanza Post, Amy Rivera and Yesenia Ortolaza, co-editors-in-chief, for its graphical representation of student survey results on various topics, Esperanza Academy

For information on the annual Student Journalism Awards, contact the Notebook at 215-951-0330, ext. 2144 or by email at

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