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A new home, and help in preserving old editions

Photo: David Limm

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

The new school year for the Notebook starts in a new home. After 19 years of being housed by Resources for Human Development and its New Beginnings nonprofit incubator in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, the Notebook has relocated to its own Center City location at 699 Ranstead St. (near Seventh and Market Streets) on the third floor.

The Notebook has been working for months on establishing itself as an independent nonprofit. It moved into its new space on Aug. 27, the first step in this shift. The Notebook launched an “On the Move” campaign last December to raise $25,000 to support the move and to help it secure tax-exempt status. So far, a total of more than $16,000 has been raised from nearly 150 donors, helping to make for a smooth transition to the Notebook’s new digs.

The new office is located in the same building as Philadelphia Community Access Media, better known as PhillyCAM, Philadelphia’s public access television studio. PhillyCAM provides training, equipment, and studio space for producing and cablecasting television programs. Both organizations hope the building can become a hub for the city’s growing nonprofit media community.

The Notebook’s space includes an open newsroom, plus a small conference room and break room. There is the potential for future expansion as the Notebook grows. For right now, the organization has some additional desk space to sublet to freelance writers or a small organization that can benefit from the synergies of co-locating in a nonprofit media space.

To celebrate the new home, the Notebook will be scheduling an open house for readers and supporters. Stay tuned for details.

Conserving history

The Notebook is celebrating another victory – being voted one of 10 winning organizations in the “Restoring Ideals” project. The winners have a chance to work with professional conservators to preserve an object that is emblematic of Philadelphia’s ideals. For the Notebook, it is a chance to preserve copies of its early print editions.

The project is a collaboration between Temple Contemporary (the gallery at Tyler School of Art) and a consortium of partners – including the Conservation Center of Art and Historic Artifacts and WHYY. The goal is to honor the work of Philadelphia-area nonprofit organizations that best reflect the city’s founding ideals of tolerance, equality, and independence.

The Notebook was one of 25 nonprofits to compete in an online competition that took place in August. Through a voting system on the WHYY/NewsWorks website, the public could watch a video about each nominee and cast votes for one or more organizations, with the top 10 vote-getters having a chance to conserve a special object.

The Notebook finished in fourth place out of the 25, garnering over 1,300 votes. Other top vote-getters included the Morris Animal Refuge, Asian Americans United, and the Philadelphia Folklore Project.

Thank you for your votes!

Notebook staff are making plans with conservators to preserve and create a bound volume of its first 29 print editions, which exist on paper only. Spanning the years between 1994 and 2002, before the organization had a website, they form what Notebook co-founder and director Paul Socolar calls “an archive of the arc of public education’s history in the city.”

The conservators can be observed while they work on the 10 winning conservation projects at Temple Contemporary’s gallery space, 2001 N. 13th St., from September 2013-February 2014.

The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays through Fridays. For information, call 215-777-9140.

Guide to high schools

This marks the 5th year that the Notebook will distribute its annual fall guide to high schools.

With the ongoing budget crisis in the District and staffing uncertainties, it has been challenging this year to gather the school-specific information that appears in each edition of the fall guide. But the guide is coming together and will be distributed on Oct. 4 this year.

The Notebook guide is a comprehensive resource that includes information and comparative data about each District high school and all the charter high school options in the city. Articles provide details about the high school selection process and how to prepare for it.

This will be the second year that the Notebook has coordinated its efforts with Philadelphia School Partnership in gathering information for the Notebook guide and the GreatPhillySchools.org website and print publication.

If you are interested in advertising in the fall guide, contact Shawn Phillips.

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