This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Literacy events and programs provide opportunities to improve the educational outcomes and quality of life in our city and beyond. Throughout November, schools, libraries, and other literacy organizations will be participating through read-a-thons, book drives, celebrity appearances, and more.
Here are several events worth checking out in Philadalphia.
Tree House Books needs your help to continue to provide reading and literacy programs for the children and families of North Central Philadelphia. All proceeds from this third annual event will go toward the mission of growing and sustaining a community of readers, writers, and thinkers. Tree House Books believes literacy is a public health issue that needs to be addressed one family at a time, every day.
Nov. 8 (6-8:30 p.m.)
Independence Mall West
150 N. Sixth St.
Mastery Charter School Shoemaker Parent Teacher Association is hosting its first Literacy Night. The event includes a book fair, interactive writing workshops, poetry, and prizes. There’s no registration fee. Refreshments will be served.
Nov. 8 (4:30-7:30 p.m.)
5301 Media St.
Philadelphia Writing Project’s annual event brings teachers together to share their work with students throughout the city. This year’s theme is “Leveraging the Resources We Have.” Special presentations will be made by PhilaSOUP and TAG Philly, with a keynote address by Stacy Holland, co-founder of the Philadelphia Youth Network.
Nov. 10 (8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.)
Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
3700 Walnut St.
The 11th annual First Person Arts Festival showcases themes of legacy, heritage, family, and identity. The only festival of its kind in the world, presented by Penn’s Master of Liberal Arts Program, First Person is dedicated to the power of personal stories told through all genres of art: stand-up storytelling, theater, memoir-writing, dance, and more. This year’s festival features comedian Janeane Garofalo; celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson; Philadelphia’s poet laureate, Sonia Sanchez; Philly food writer Rick Nichols, new works by First Person Arts RAW artists, the inaugural PNC Arts Alive Story Day, and everyday Philadelphians in countless programs.
Nov. 7-Nov. 17
Mighty Writers presents ongoing programs through its Mighty Academy and Teen Writing programs. They offer this tip for families: "The most important thing parents can do to increase their children’s reading levels and school performance is to read to them. Read story books, newspapers and magazines. Read novels or articles that you think might be a little too hard. Keep reading together as a family every night, and watch your child succeed."
1501 Christian St.
Spells Writing Lab presents ongoing programs, including tutoring, workshops, partnership with schools, and professional development opportunities for teachers. Spells develops the creative and expository writing abilities of school-age children through free, fun, and imaginative writing programs.
2526 N. Alder St.
At the Village of Arts and Humanities’ annual fall fundraising celebration, enjoy food, drink and casual conversation with the board and staff at The Village. Live performances by CRED’s poets and musicians.
Nov. 29 (5:30-8:30 p.m.)
CRED Onsite, a pop-up gallery
325 South St.
Celebrate the joy of reading with your child at the Parent-Infant Center’s Family Book Fest this Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Rotunda, 4014 Walnut Street. With stories and crafts for ages 7-under, this event is free and open to the public from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. WXPN’s Kathy O’Connell, host of Kids’ Corner, will join in with read-aloud stories, followed by a concert with Two of a Kind. Enjoy family fun activities, and bring a slightly used children’s book for the swap table and take home some new stories to share with your family.
Know of any other literacy events in the area? Leave a note in the comments.