This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
We’ve got some big changes planned for the Notebook. After 13 years of publishing, it was time for some serious evaluation and creative thinking about the future of this newspaper.
Our mission – as an independent, nonprofit news service for parents, students, educators, and the public at-large – is to make the Notebook matter to you in your efforts to improve Philadelphia’s public schools.
We’ve spent 12 months listening to feedback. Much of it was positive, encouraging us to “keep it up.” Our readers also consistently made a number of suggestions:
- publish the newspaper more frequently;
- create a more extensive and timely website with up-to-date news and conversation about education activism;
- make it easier to find the Notebook – make it available in more places besides schools, libraries, and our current community distribution sites;
- include a greater variety of topics and human interest stories; and,
- liven up the paper with more photos and color.
We are committed to implementing each of these suggestions. But it will require time … and, more importantly, money for the Notebook to expand its small staff, which has never been bigger than three people.
This winter, the Notebook needs to raise $20,000 from readers to embark on our improvement plan. We ask you to go to send a generous contribution, which you can send through our site.
We are calling upon our readers because unfortunately, advertising income doesn’t pay all our bills. Few foundations will provide long-term operating support.
We’re not swaying from our commitment to maintain the Notebook as a free newspaper that is available to anyone concerned about Philadelphia schools. But financially, in the long run, we depend heavily on all you readers who turn to the Notebook to get the kind of independent information about our schools that you can’t get elsewhere. If you value the work we do, we need you to invest in the Notebook‘s future.
All contributions, large and small, are welcome; your reward will be a better and more interesting Notebook. Thank you!
Paul Socolar, editor
for the Notebook organization