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New website on the way; publisher search continues

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

Last winter the Notebook began the exciting process of planning a redesign of its website. The nonprofit contracted with P’unk Ave., a design agency in South Philadelphia, to develop a new look that strengthens the nonprofit’s online presence while being more engaging and user-friendly.

The Notebook is almost ready to reveal the transformation. We expect the new site to be live by the end of this year. Readers will still find fresh content daily on the site, but navigation will be improved by faster loading and easier searches for articles by topic. The redesign will also improve readers’ experience on cell phones and other mobile devices.

Accessing information about memberships, events, and past print editions will be easier as well.

The Notebook is excited to provide a cleaner user experience. We can’t wait for you to see the site. Stay tuned for more details.

High School Fair

The Notebook once again took part in Philadelphia’s annual two-day High School Fair, held in October at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The event, which included 102 high schools and eight career and technical education programs, was organized by Great Philly Schools, a project of Philadelphia School Partnership.

The Notebook distributed 3,500 copies of its annual Fall Guide to High Schools to parents and students. Staff also displayed a large blow-up of the guide’s popular data center spread that shows how schools are doing in categories such as PSSA scores, attendance, and college-going rates. Many students and families gathered around it to compare schools’ results.

Representatives also introduced fair-goers to the Notebook’s publications, signed up newsletter subscribers, and explained the high school selection process.

Update on publisher search

Editor/Publisher Paul Socolar announced in February that he would be stepping down around the end of 2015 to pursue other opportunities. The Notebook’s search for a new executive director/publisher is in full swing as it works with consultant Sonia Stamm to find a replacement. Candidates for the position are being interviewed, and the organization expects to complete the transition by early 2016.

Socolar will remain in his role until the new organizational leader is hired and oriented to the position.

‘Glen’s Village’ gains momentum

The popularity of Glen’s Village continues.

The 30-minute Notebook documentary by journalists Dorian Geiger and Paul Jablow that addresses the effects of trauma on children in Philadelphia schools was screened in November at the Big Apple Film Festival in Manhattan. It was also accepted into its 12th film festival, the Equality International Film Festival in Sacramento, Calif. In Philadelphia, United Way is using the film in a training event on trauma.

The film focuses on Glen Casey, a 20-year-old West Philadelphia native who found the supports he needed both in and out of school to rise from a life surrounded by drugs and violence and become a University of Pennsylvania student.

Glen’s Village has received several awards, including Best Short Documentary in the Atlantic City Cinefest in October and Best Short Documentary at AMFM Fest: Flagstaff in Arizona in August. It was also named best documentary at the Mount Vernon, N.Y., Film Festival in September and received the audience award for best medium-length film, and jury award for best documentary at #TOFF: The Online Film Festival. If you would like to arrange a screening of the film, email notebook@thenotebook.org.

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