Update on Minor Threats chess team: two trophies won at SuperNationals!

April 10, 2013


The Minor Threats at the PA State Scholastic Chess Championships in March.

Members of the Minor Threats, a chess club comprised of 2nd-6th graders from four West Philly schools, have just returned from the SuperNationals that took place this past weekend in Nashville, Tenn., and have some good news: the team won two trophies! Mitchell Elementary finished 28th place in the team K-5 U900 division. A team member, Tahvon Hughes, finished 35th among individuals. There were 393 kids playing in the division.

The Philadelphia Chess Society returned from SuperNationals, a tournament that only happens once every four years, with a total of nine trophies and it’s great to know that the Minor Threats, the team that so many of our readers supported with financial contributions and words of encouragement, contributed to this success (read our first story about the club and its fundraising efforts here).

Jason Bui, the Minor Threats coach, has sent us an email thanking everyone who supported his club and the Philadelphia Chess Society:

“It was truly an awesome and adventurous experience for us. On behalf of all the participating PCS clubs, students, parents and guests, THANK YOU!”

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Two big family events at Penn Museum this month

April 9, 2013

2 SphinxGalleryPenn Museum is organizing two great family events this month and inviting West Philly kids and their families to attend.

Philadelphia READS! community night (free):
On Wednesday, Apr 10, Penn Museum celebrates literacy with a free community night and kickoff to a month-long book drive, from 5 to 8 p.m. The event, co-hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s Groundswell Initiative, will include storytelling in the galleries, dance performances, a poetry workshop, and a hieroglyph-writing workshop. Guests are asked to bring a new or gently used children’s book to contribute to Philadelphia READS, a program that provides books to educators in the city.

For more information go here.

4 Roman BattleRome’s Birthday:
On Sunday, April 21, “All roads lead to Rome,” as the museum celebrates the founding of Rome (753 BCE) with an afternoon of gladiatorial bouts, toga wrapping, ancient hairdressing, arts and crafts, a pasta demo, pop-up poetry readings in the galleries, and a talk about Rome. This event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. and is free with Museum admission.

For more information visit this page.

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Eat some great chili on Sunday and keep the hand-made bowl

April 5, 2013

chiliHere’s another great event for the whole family happening this weekend in the neighborhood. The University City Arts League (4226 Spruce St) invites friends and neighbors to their 4th annual Chili Bowl event that will be held on Sunday, Apr. 7, from 1 – 5 p.m.

As always, the UCAL staff will fill up bowls made in their pottery studio with different versions of delicious warm chili, veggie and meat, provided by nine local restaurants: Atiya Ola, Distrito, Gold Standard Café, Green Line Café, Guacamole Mex Grill, Harvest, Honest Tom’s, Milk and Honey, and Powelton Pizza. Once again, Greg Salisbury, head of SOOP catering, will be creating meat and vegan chili and Yards Brewing will be supplying beverages.


The annual Chili Bowl event raises funds for the University City Arts League’s Pottery Studio. (Photo courtesy UCAL).

Sounds great, right? All you have to do is to buy a beautiful hand-crafted chili bowl and you can eat all the free chili you want. And if you bring your kids, they all will eat free when their parents purchase a bowl! After you try all the chili you can vote for the best chili-maker in the neighborhood.

“This is a really fun event,” says Noreen Shanfelter, Arts League executive director. “It’s great for the whole family. We’ll have music and face painting for the children to enjoy.”

This event benefits the UCAL Pottery Studio. It will help cover the expenses of a new, third kiln that was recently added to increase capacity at the studio and new lighting.

Pottery is the most popular of all courses at the Arts League and is available for children, aged 5 to 12 after school Monday to Friday, and for adults on the weekends and on several weeknights.

For more information contact the Arts League at 215 382 7811 or visit


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Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunts 2013 (updated)

March 30, 2013

easter-egg-huntAs always, we are publishing information on upcoming Easter egg hunts in West and Southwest Philadelphia. If you know of any other Easter egg hunts, please drop us a line at: or post in the comments below.


Saturday, March 30


Easter Egg Hunt and Crafts & Fun in Clark Park

Where: Next to the toddler playground (43rd and Chester)

When: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (rain or shine!)

Who: Age 1 – 8

The event is being hosted by the Renewal Presbyterian Church (47th and Cedar). Participants should sign up for the egg hunt at the beginning of the event. Contact information:  e-mail:, phone: 267-564-5105.


Spring Egg Hunts at Walnut Street West Library

Where: 40th & Walnut

When: 10:30 a.m.

Who: Preschool age kids


When: 1 p.m.

Who: School age kids

The Spring Egg Hunts are sponsored by the Friends of the Walnut West Library. Contact information: Phone: 215-685-7671.
Eastwick Library’s Spring Egg Hunt

Where: Free Library of Philadelphia Eastwick Branch, 2851 Island Avenue

When: 1 p.m.

Join the Friends of Eastwick Library for a Spring Egg Hunt inside the library. Contact information: Phone: 215-685-4170.


Woodland Presbyterian Spring Fling and Egg Hunt

Where: Woodland Presbyterian Church, 42nd and Pine

When: 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Come out this Saturday to the Easter Spring Fling at Woodland Presbyterian at 42nd and Pine. Hot Dogs, lemonade, basket making, egg decorating, balloon animals, face painting, egg hunt and more! The Egg Hunt begins at 1 p.m. Enter a raffle to win some delicious honey bunny bread. Make a Easter Egg Race Car with the Build-It-Bus.


Sunday, March 31


The Great St. Mary’s Easter Egg Hunt

Where: St. Mary’s Church, 3916 Locust Walk

When: after Easter Sunday service, approximately at 1 p.m.

All children and their families are welcome. BYOB (Bring Your Own Basket).

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Free Library Hot Spots events for kids, tweens and teens

March 25, 2013

HotSpotsWordleSpring Break is here for most city schoolchildren and we wanted to pass along information about some free activities for West Philly kids this week. The Free Library Hot Spots at select West Philly locations will offer some fun events from Monday, March 25 through Thursday, March 28, where kids, tweens and teens can learn how to make video games online, spice up their wardrobe with e-textiles, practice their DJ skills, make videos, and more.

At Blackwell Regional Library (52nd and Sansom), teens and tweens ages 12 and up can visit the Hot Spot to get creative. On Tuesday, March 26 from 2-4 p.m., teens at Blackwell can create and play video games. On Wednesday, March 27 from 1:45-3 p.m., there will be creative digital freeplay, from making beats to editing photos and making videos.

From Monday, March 25 through Thursday, March 28, teens, tweens, and kids ages 8 and up are invited to visit the Free Library Hot Spot at Heavenly Hall located at 4015 Poplar Street (Hours: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m.) to make video games, edit music, create an e-textiles project, or edit photos. Also, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, there will be a dance party to close out the week.

If you have questions about these events, please email Jazmin at:

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Zora keeps playing, completes West Philly playground quest

March 20, 2013


Zora checking out a playground in Manyunk. (Photo from

Last April we wrote about a West Philly girl, Zora, and her dad Michael Froehlich’s awesome project, Zora Plays (“Zora plays and we all get a lesson on West Philly playgrounds“). Michael and his daughter, now 3, visited 31 West Philly playgrounds every day last January and documented them all – they made playground equipment photos, sketches and maps and posted them on their website (

We have to admit that we haven’t followed this project for a while and were amazed to learn that Zora has recently completed her West Philly playground quest and even started venturing outside of the area. As of today, Zora and Michael have visited and documented 89 playgrounds in West Philly and beyond (here’s a direct link to the map of the playgrounds).

What can we say? Keep playing, Zora!

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