Do you like soccer? Volunteer as a coach at Clark Park Youth Soccer program

September 19, 2013


Volunteer soccer coaches with young players at Clark Park. Photo courtesy Clark Park Youth Soccer.


Do you enjoy playing soccer and know a little bit about the game? Do you like running around and having fun with kids? If so, read on.

The Clark Park Youth Soccer program is still looking for volunteer coaches for their Fall season, which starts on Saturday, Sept. 28 and continues until November 23. It takes place on Saturdays at Clark Park, with age groups 5-6 and 6-7 playing from 10:30 a.m. to noon, and age groups 7-8 and 9-11 playing from noon to 1:30 p.m. Volunteer coaches are asked to commit to being there most of the Saturdays through the season, but there will be three to four coaches assigned to each team so that you’ll always have backup.

Clark Park Soccer is a non-competitive program, aiming to give kids of any ability the opportunity to have fun, get some exercise, and learn the basic skills of the game. Coaches of all ages and abilities are welcome; the only requirement is that you like to have fun!

To read more about this program visit this page, or email: if you’re interested.

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Youth soccer comes to Cedar Park, returns to Clark Park this Fall

September 3, 2013

soccer-ball-in-grassThis Fall local kids will have more opportunities to try the world’s greatest game in an organized manner without leaving their neighborhood. Starting in September, Soccer Shots, a national program created under the guidance of childhood education specialists, professional soccer players, and experienced and licensed soccer coaches, will bring youth soccer to Cedar Park (49th & Baltimore). The program uses creative and age-appropriate curricula and structures activities through a mixture of play and learning basic soccer skills.

The Soccer Shots Fall season runs from September 14 through November 16 and serves kids ages 2-4 (there will be two age groups: 2 year olds and 3-to-4 year olds). Soccer Shots will run for two hours (participants can choose one of three 40-minute sessions) once a week on Saturday mornings on two small grass sections of the park. There is a registration fee of $90 to $108 and you can register your child online at:

The new Soccer Shots program will supplement the neighborhood’s long established Clark Park Youth Soccer League, which runs from September 28 to November 23. This volunteer-run program enrolls children ages 5-11 and is held at Clark Park (43rd & Chester) on Saturdays, 10:30-Noon and Noon to 1:30. This is a lower cost program ($20 per season) and “soccership” funds are available where there is financial need.

More information about the program, and the registration forms are available here.

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Back to School giveaways this weekend

August 30, 2013

bookbaggiveawayHere’s a reminder that there will be a Back to School celebration and book bag giveaway on Sunday, Sept 1, at Malcolm X. Park (51st and Pine). The event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Community volunteers will help to distribute donated book bags filled with schools supplies and clothing to over 300 local children. The event is organized by The Nehemiah Davis Foundation (NDF). During the event, NDF will also provide entertainment, free food and haircuts for all of the families who attend.

On Saturday (Aug 31), Bible Way Baptist Church located at 1323 N. 52nd St is having a Back to School Giveaway. Families with kids who need school supplies are welcome to this event. The giveaway starts at noon and goes until supplies last. For questions, call (215) 477 0778 or email:

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Kids rock tonight and Wednesday to raise money for West Philly school for kids with cerebral palsy

August 27, 2013

kidsrockAs part of the “Kids Rock for Kids” rock concert series, on Tuesday, Aug. 27 and Wednesday, Aug. 28 more than 100 student musicians, age 8-17, will perform at World Cafe Live (3025 Walnut Street) to raise money for West Philly’s HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy. Twenty-five teenage rock bands and seven Glee groups will perform. The shows are a collaboration between World Cafe Live and Music Training Center, where the performers study. Both shows start at 6:30 p.m. and end at 9.

HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy, which is located in the Spruce Hill neighborhood at 44th & Baltimore, serves children through age 21 and uses special education, therapy programs and state-of-the-art assistive technology to maximize each child’s abilities and help prepare them for a full, active life in their community.

World Cafe Live’s “Kids Rock for Kids” rock concert series, which raises awareness and money for a different children’s medical charity in the Philadelphia area, debuted in 2006. To date, more than 20 concerts have raised over $10,000 for 24 different charities.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for kids. Please note that ticket sales do not include a donation; HMS volunteers will ask for donations during the concert that will benefit HMS’s Scholarship Fund. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

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Registration underway for free after-school bicycle program

August 20, 2013


Photo via

Neighborhood Bike Works, a wonderful local program that provides educational, recreational, and career-building opportunities for urban youth through bicycling, is inviting young West Philadelphians to join their Ride Club this September. Ride club is a new four-week free after-school program for youth ages 8-18. The club will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Neighborhood Bike Works location at 3916 Locust Walk and program participants will go on fun routes to explore this part of the city and will also get lessons in mechanics, health, and fitness.

All Ride Club participants should know how to ride a bike and must be able to ride 20 minutes without a break. Neighborhood Bike Works can provide youth with a bike and helmet to use during rides.

For more information and to download a registration form, visit:

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Night at Penn Museum: popular kids’ sleepover program returns this fall

August 15, 2013

Editor’s Note: West Philly Local contributor and West Philly resident Jen Horner and her son checked on Penn Museum’s 40 Winks with the Sphinx sleepover program a few months ago, but we didn’t get a chance to run the story about their experience because all subsequent sleepovers in the spring/summer were quickly sold out. As tickets for the Fall 2013 – Summer 2014 of 40 Winks with the Sphinx season go on sale today, we are publishing this story now.


Photos by Jen Horner.

It’s funny: Ben Stiller has been very helpful to scientific institutions in their quest to reach young minds and generate new revenue streams. The 2006 movie Night at the Museum is not the only inspiration for overnight kids’ programs – the Franklin Institute has been doing it for years – but I did feel my life imitating art when I took a late night flashlight tour through the mummy chambers of the Penn Museum with my ten-year-old son. “Forty Winks with the Sphinx” is a popular monthly program for kids age 6-12, and while it plays on the premise of the movie, the grandeur of the museum and the enthusiasm of the staff override all residual cheesiness.

We found plenty to like about Forty Winks. From 5:30 until the first scheduled event of at 6:45 we had the run of the museum. Staff and security were on site, and as a bonus, things were set up for the next night’s crazy-lavish wedding. (There were gigantic crystal chandeliers and velvet drapes all over the Egyptian gallery). My son and I had fun following the scavenger hunt booklet. At 6:45, we convened in the auditorium for a short orientation followed by a live “game show” wherein kids examined artifacts from the museum and guessed what they were used for. This moved briskly but lasted long enough for most kids to get a chance on stage.

40winks3From 7:45 on, we were free to try four activities, eat dinner (we packed it ourselves), roam the museum, or actually watch the movie Night at the Museum. Of the lessons, we liked the cuneiform best – it’s the ancient Sumerian writing method of pressing patterns into clay. I cannot describe the satisfaction we felt when the instructor looked at my son’s finished clay tablet and read his name out loud! Where else could you meet a person literate in ancient Sumerian? We also learned some Egyptian hieroglyphics, and we had a chance to (respectfully) examine a real Peruvian mummy. Yoga was too crowded so we skipped it.

The best part of the night was the Expedition at 10. Everyone has to bring their own flashlight because they really do turn out the lights. Things were organized so that small groups moved through key exhibits without spoiling the illusion of being alone with the mummies in a vast, dark museum. I must say, the guides – mostly Penn graduate students – were very charming and smart, and good at talking with flashlights in their faces. There is a lot of truly cool stuff in the museum, plus my son met a fellow Angry Birds fan. By 11:30-ish, after negotiating the crowded restrooms, we ended up back in the Sphinx room for lights out.  Continue Reading

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