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Halloween-themed events kick off this Tuesday at The Woodlands

October 14, 2014

FunnyBonesThis month, we’ll be publishing information about Halloween-themed events happening in the area. Here’s a roundup for the upcoming events at The Woodlands Cemetery and Mansion (40th and Woodland). Many of them are for the whole family. Please note that the first two events, dedicated to works of Edgar Allan Poe, will take place today (Tuesday, Oct 14).

Tuesday, Oct 14

Edgar Allan Poe: Funny Bones (kids are welcome)

4:30-6:30 p.m.

The Woodlands is a perfect setting for something mysterious and macabre, like a performance based on Edgar Allan Poe’s works. Literary historian and playwright Rob Velella, who specializes in 19th century American literature, will demonstrate some of Poe’s most loved stories. This event is especially great for kids. For more info and to buy tickets ($15 adults, $10 kids), click here.

Edgar Allan Poe: Master of the Macabre

7:30-9:30 p.m.

Velella, will continue his demonstration of some of Poe’s works, in this after-dark performance. After his performance, Velella will take you on a nighttime cemetery walk to visit Poe’s contemporary, Timothy Shay Arthur, at his eternal resting spot. This event is more suitable for adults and children ages 10+. For more info and tickets ($20), click hereContinue Reading

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Fall youth soccer programs in West Philly (updated)

September 11, 2014

September is here, which means kids go back to school, but also some local kids’ recreational and after-school programs resume. Here’s a reminder of two great youth soccer programs in the area for those families who are looking for sports or recreational activities for their children this Fall.

Clark Park Youth Soccer League (updated)

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Photo courtesy of Clark Park Youth Soccer League.

Update (9/11/2014): Registration for the Fall season of Clark Park Youth Soccer is now open. Click here to register online. The program is also seeking volunteer coaches. If you know a little bit about the game and like running and having fun with kids, email: clarkparksoccer@yahoo.com

9/2/2014: The Clark Park Youth Soccer League (CPYSL) is a program of Friends of Clark Park (FOCP) designed for kids ages 5-11. The Fall season of the program starts on Saturday, Sept. 27 and goes on until Nov. 22. Soccer instruction and games (90-minute sessions) are offered every Saturday in the Clark Park bowl at 45th and Chester. Mornings (10:30 a.m. – Noon): ages 5-6.5 and ages 6.5-7. Afternoons (Noon-1:30 p.m.): ages 8-9 and ages 10-11. This is a low-cost program. The fees include a $20 seasonal (fall or spring) fee for the first child and $10 for each additional child and a $20/year FOCP family membership fee if you have one child enrolling in the program ($25 for families with two or more kids in the program).

Please note that CPYSL is a volunteer-run program and relies on the help from parents and other adults. Adults are invited to assist with coaching or to help with the administrative work.

Visit this page for more information and to download registration forms.

Soccer Shots at Cedar Park

soccershotslogoSoccer Shots is a positive introduction to soccer for toddlers and preschool aged children (ages 2-4). The program has opened registration for the fall season in West Philadelphia. The fall season starts on Saturday, Sept. 6 and ends on November 8. Soccer Shots focuses on the skills and lessons of the game by offering non-competitive classes. Each child learns the fundamentals of the game through skill instruction, fun games, and creative play. Classes are offered on Saturdays, from 9 – 11 a.m. (30-40 minutes of soccer instruction) at Cedar Park (50th and Baltimore). Spots are still available for some sessions. The fee is $120 per child and you can register online (click here to register).

Soccer Shots also has programs in eight other areas of the city and you can search for all of their programs on their website at www.soccershots.org/philadelphia.

If you have any questions, please contact Soccer Shots at: philly [at] soccershots.org or 267-630-1557.

 

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All meals in public schools are now free for all students, district announces

September 4, 2014

The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) announced today that all Philadelphia public school students are now eligible to receive free school meals. Families will no longer need to complete applications to determine eligibility. All students in the SDP can receive free breakfast and lunch starting this fall, according to the announcement.

The new School Breakfast and Lunch program requirements have been introduced as the District’s Division of Food Services transitions to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) for the 2014-15 school year. The new benefits will “include better access to school meals by easing the strain on household budgets, reducing the paperwork burden on families and eliminating the stigma associated with the free lunch program,” the announcement reads.

“Our goal is to provide as many students as possible with access to healthy, nutritious meals,” Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent, said in a statement. “We want to keep students’ focus on learning, not hunger.”

 

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Walnut Hill Playground eager to connect with local community

August 27, 2014

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Walnut Hill Community Playground. (Photos by Selah Lynch / West Philly Local)

At the corner of Sansom and 47th sits Walnut Hill Community Playground, a park with a long and varied history. It was built in the 1970s and used for decades, but in early 2009 an inspector declared it unsafe and recommended it be closed. In response, residents organized a complete rebuild. This culminated on August 6th 2009 when 373 volunteers came together for one day to finish the park. Today the park is home to playground equipment, including a spiral slide, monkey bars and swings. It is surrounded by benches and picnic tables and shaded by mature Japanese Pagoda trees. One patron, Jacki, whose three kids were playing in the park said, “I’m so grateful for this place. I live in the projects but I like to take my kids down here where it is safe.”

While many residents are thrilled about the park, some residents have been confused about the hours. According to the Walnut Hill Community Association (WHCA), which maintains the playground, they adhere to the following hours: M-F 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-8 p.m. But local mom, Maggie Gummere said, “I’ve walked by a few times on a Saturday or a Sunday and the park has been closed.” This disappoints her because, as she adds, “It looks like so much fun.” Another mother blogs, the hours are “marked ‘9 a.m.-8 p.m. seven days,’ but it’s been closed several Sunday mornings.”

The WHCA says that they lock the playground outside of daylight hours to maintain a safe and healthy atmosphere. Currently, responsibility for the park falls on the shoulders of very few. Walnut Hill residents Lydia Connolly and Teresa Leedie lock, unlock and monitor the park. Resident Horace Patterson, WHCA President, takes responsibility for cleaning and emptying the trash.

Lorna Peterson, a Walnut Hill resident for 24 years and WHCA vice president, says that one thing parents can do for the park is simply to use it and help maintain a positive adult presence. She also adds, “anyone who is interested in using, maintaining or chaperoning the park, we encourage them to join the community association.” The next meeting is at 6 p.m. on September 25th at the Enterprise Center at 4548 Market Street. Alternatively, people can contact the association at 215-472-1381 or walnuthillevents [at] gmail.com.

Selah Lynch

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Neighborhood families invited for weekly playgroup

August 26, 2014

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Photo via www.westphillycoopschool.com.

Here’s a great chance for children to play together and their caretakers to socialize. All neighborhood kids and their parents or guardians are invited for a weekly playgroup at the West Philadelphia Cooperative School (WPCS) located at 4625 Baltimore Avenue. The playgroup meets every Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m., so there’s a playgroup happening today. Children can enjoy free play, snacks, and circle time.

Donations are welcome, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Just come and play!

For more information or if you have questions, please email Sochi Thomas, a WPCS parent member, at Dearsochi [at] gmail.com
 

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Earn cash, support local school at ‘West Philly Grows Again’ Kids’ Consignment Sale

August 22, 2014

WPGA_LOGO_WHITEHey West Philly parents and guardians, you probably have some stuff in your closets that your kids have grown out of over the past year. Here’s a great chance to get rid of it, earn some cash, and support a neighborhood school. The annual “West Philly Grows Again” Kids’ Consignment sale, which benefits St. Mary’s Nursery School, is scheduled for September 20, 2014 and consignors are welcome to register. Here’s how the sale works:

If your items are accepted and then sold at the event you earn 50 percent of the profits. The other 50 percent will go to support the school. If you also volunteer during this fundraiser by working a 3-hour shift you can increase your percentage to 60 percent.

Gently used and good-quality children’s items are accepted at the sale, including clothing (newborn up to size 16), shoes, toys, books, baby and sports equipment, and more. Maternity and nursing clothing is also accepted. For the full lists of accepted and not accepted items and general consignor guidelines, check out this page. Click here to register ($10 consignor registration fee is applied).

The “West Philly Grows Again” Consignment sale will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, at St. Mary’s Nursery School, 3916 Locust Walk. Consignors, volunteers and shoppers are welcome. For more information, visit: stmarysnursery.org/consignment-sale. To check out sale updates as they arrive, visit the event’s Facebook page.

 

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