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West Philly teen competes in National Spelling Bee

Posted on 26 May 2016

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A West Philadelphia 7th grader, Saif Siddiquee, participated in the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee, being held this week in Washington, DC. 13-year-old Saif is a Penn Alexander School student. On Wednesday, Saif competed in the Preliminary Rounds 2 and 3 (onstage oral spelling) and spelled correctly both words (“crudités” and “recrudescence”) presented to him by the Bee’s official pronouncer, Dr. Jacques Bailly.

Only 45 kids out of the 285 who entered in this year’s competition made it to the Finals, and, unfortunately, Saif wasn’t one of them. Nevertheless, we congratulate Saif on his great performance and for representing his school and Philadelphia in this prestigious contest.

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Vendors, music & dancing, raffle, petting zoo and more at this year’s Spruce Hill May Fair

Posted on 04 May 2016

This week has been rainy and gloomy in Philadelphia, but sunny weather is in the forecast for Saturday (May 7), just in time for the Spruce Hill May Fair, the annual community celebration.

May FairThe fair will take place from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. at Clark Park (43rd and Chester) and will feature attractions for everyone. For children, the fair will once again have a petting zoo, pony rides, a bounce tent and a 40-foot obstacle course, all at family-friendly prices.

Book lovers will find one of the best assortments of $1 used books the fair has ever offered, and raffle players can shoot for an Apple watch offered by University Family Fun Center. Drawings will be held throughout the day for many gift certificates for dinner and services from local merchants, including Aksum, Renata’s Kitchen, Dock Street Brewery, Philly Homebrew Outlet, Dottie’s Donuts, City Food Tours, Pattaya Grill, VIX Emporium, Jinxed, Baltimore Pet Shoppe, Keswick Cycle, Studio 34 and many more!

Raffle tickets are just $1 a piece or 6 for $5 and will be available at the Fair, or you can stop by the Spruce Hill Center (257 S. 45th St) on Thursday, May 5 (6-9 p.m.). For the full list of the participating merchants, go hereContinue Reading

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Philadelphia Science Festival events in West Philly (updated)

Posted on 21 April 2016

Philadelphia Science Festival at Clark Park (Photo via  www.philasciencefestival.org)

The annual Philadelphia Science Festival returns on April 22 – 30. A lot of cool and FREE events will be happening in West and Southwest Philadelphia, from Astronomy Night for families to a discussion of the brewing process and beer sampling for adults. Here are some of them (for more events, visit: www.philasciencefestival.org):

Saturday, April 23

Astronomy Night (rescheduled from Friday, Apr. 22)

7:30 – 10:30 p.m.

Join local astronomers for some stargazing and participate in other cool projects. Several locations will be hosting this event, so pick one: Drexel University’s Dornsife Center (3509 Spring Garden St.), The African Episcopal Church of Saint Thomas (6361 Lancaster Ave), CHOP Karabots Pediatric Care Center (4865 Market St.), Schuylkill Banks (Schuylkill Banks Trail at Walnut St.), USFWS John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (8601 Lindbergh Blvd.).  Continue Reading

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Neighborhood Bike Works and theVillage partner to donate bikes to local foster kids

Posted on 21 April 2016

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theVillageNBW6Many of you have heard about Neighborhood Bike Works, the West Philly non-profit that offers bike education programs to local youth. The organization recently partnered with theVillage’s foster care program to present 20 new bikes to local foster children (the bikes were donated by AmerisourceBergen).

NBW youth leaders also conducted a workshop with the group of children, ages 6 – 12 years, to teach them about bike safety, personal safety and basic rules of the road through a “Safety Rodeo” obstacle course. Each child left the workshop with a bicycle, helmet, bike lock, and the necessary safety skills to experience the joys of cycling– something they might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience as they transition through the foster care system on their path to find their “forever home.”  Continue Reading

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Powel School students to march against gun violence, raising funds

Posted on 11 April 2016

Samuel Powel Elementary School students and teachers are planning a series of marches against gun violence and are inviting the community to join them.

“4th graders at Powel School… have been studying Gun Violence in our neighborhoods and city this year. They have decided that they wanted to march through our communities to raise awareness about gun violence,” writes teacher Joe Alberti.

The 4th graders at Powel will be marching through Powelton and Mantua on Thursday, April 21 from 1-2 p.m.

They will be marching up 36th St. to Spring Garden, then up 35th St. to Aspen before walking down 37th St. and back to school, located at 301 N. 36th St. The children created fliers about the march to invite neighbors. Here’s one of them:  Continue Reading

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Join West Philly Babies every Tuesday at UCAL

Posted on 04 April 2016

A new playgroup has been recently formed in West Philly for kids ages 2 and under and their caregivers. West Philly Babies meets every Tuesday from 1:30-3 p.m. at the University City Arts League (UCAL) and invites more caregivers and their little ones to join them.

This group is an opportunity to socialize for both parents and young babies. “It’s a great chance to meet other local parents and caregivers of very young children in an easygoing space,” writes the group co-founder Alisha Nash. “Being a parent to a very young baby can be isolating, so I started the group along with another parent to build community with other parents in West Philly.”  Continue Reading

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