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New editor hired; membership drive underway

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Wendy Harris has joined the staff of the Notebook as its first managing editor.

Her addition is the harbinger of a series of big changes at the Notebook, as it expands its news services, including the launch of a new Web site and blog in January 2009.

The forthcoming blog will provide a forum for reader discussion, news, and commentary from a diverse group of observers of the Philadelphia schools. Expanded staffing will also allow for frequent updates of, the Notebook‘s Web site.

Harris’s managing editor position was made possible by a multi-year grant to the Notebook from the William Penn Foundation.

Harris, a Philadelphia native and Penn State graduate, has been a contributing writer to Black Enterprise Magazine and Essence, and previously worked as a managing editor for Hollister Creative Services, a custom publishing company in Wynnewood, Pa. She is the author of two business books: Black Enterprise Guide to Starting Your Own Business and Against All Odds: Ten Entrepreneurs Who Followed Their Hearts and Found Success.

Harris is also the mother of a 17-month-old son.

She joins a staff consisting of Editor Paul Socolar, Contributing Editor Dale Mezzacappa, and Operations/Business Manager Erika Owens, who are also supported by a skilled group of freelancers and an active volunteer Leadership Board and Editorial Board.

Another change at the Notebook is the introduction of a membership program to encourage reader support and involvement. The Notebook invites all its readers to become members now during its end-of-year membership drive.

A basic membership ($30) for 2009 offers a number of perks, including a subscription to the print edition for the calendar year and access to a member directory. Other membership tiers provide access to additional benefits, including an insider newsletter and discounts to Notebook events. Go to the membership page for more information.

Current and former subscribers desiring to receive the Notebook by firstclass mail can now get that and more with a basic membership package.

The Notebook will continue to distribute its paper free of charge at schools and community sites across the city, but its expanded publishing activities will only be sustained if the Notebook‘s regular readers become members, thereby making a contribution to sustaining its work.

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