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A busy spring for fundraising and reporting

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

Spring is here, and that means lots of fundraising activities for the Notebook.

In June, the Notebook holds its major annual event, the “Turning the Page for Change” fundraiser. This event, one of the most talked about in the Philadelphia education community, takes place from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11 at the University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St. Marking the end of another school year, it’s a big party that provides vital financial support for the coming year’s reporting and publishing activities.

In addition to offering great food, music, and conversation, the Notebook will honor education writer Benjamin Herold for his reporting and contributions over the past 10 years.

Herold is leaving the Philadelphia schools beat this spring, after being involved with the Notebook since 2002 – initially as an intern, then as an editorial advisory board member and freelance writer. He joined the Notebook staff in July 2011 under a partnership between the Notebook and WHYY/NewsWorks, which helped to fund a new reporting position. In July 2012, he transitioned to a staff position at NewsWorks.

The 2012 winner of the Education Writers Association’s top prize in beat reporting in the medium-sized newsroom category, Herold will now work for Education Week, where he will be covering educational technology.

Other honorees at the event will include the winners in the annual journalism award program for local high school students.

Standard admission is $75. To RSVP, become a sponsor, join the Host Committee or advertise, email development director Tim Cravens or call 215-951-0330 ext. 2144.

Other recent Notebook fundraising activities included three spring house parties aimed at new contributors and members. Notebook readers, including parents, educators and education advocates, gathered with staff and board members at the homes of Notebook supporters in April and May. Over 100 people attended the parties, more than $9,600 was raised, and dozens of attendees became Notebook members.

The annual membership campaign has brought in nearly 400 members as of mid-May. The goal is to reach 600 this year. See page 31 to sign up.

On the move

The Notebook has been working on establishing itself as an independent nonprofit and is on schedule to move to new office space by the end of the summer.

Since its launch in 1994, the Notebook has been housed by Resources for Human Development and its New Beginnings nonprofit incubator. Now approaching its 19th birthday, the Notebook is ready to move out on its own and is finalizing a new site in Center City. Check the Notebook website this summer for more information on the new location.

An “On the Move” campaign was launched to raise $25,000 to support the move and enable the organization to become an independent nonprofit. So far, it has raised $15,900 from nearly 150 donors. Tax-deductible contributions can be sent to the Notebook, 3721 Midvale Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19129 or online.

In the news

The Notebook’s coverage often makes news, finding its way onto the pages of other publications and into books.

The new book Marketing Schools, Marketing Cities: Who Wins and Who Loses When Schools Become Urban Amenities by Maia Bloomfield Cucchiara, assistant professor of urban education at Temple’s College of Education, refers to two Notebook articles by contributing editor Dale Mezzacappa, and another by editor Paul Socolar. Socolar is also quoted in the book Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse by Annette Fuentes.

The Notebook is also cited in the April 12 Wall Street Journal news article “Efforts to Curb Cheating Bog Down.” Since the Notebook broke the story about widespread evidence of cheating on Pennsylvania standardized tests in 2011, its continued coverage of the subsequent probe and fallout has garnered attention nationwide, including in Education Week, which picked up an April story by Mezzacappa and Herold called “Two Principals Are First Philly Casualties of Cheating Probes.”

Lots of readers are coming to the Notebook website via a box on the education page of the Philly.com website linking to our most recent online stories. This is a result of a content-sharing partnership between the Notebook and the Philadelphia Daily News.

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