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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A donor to match this week’s donations to The Minor Threats chess club

March 17, 2013


The Minor Threats with their State Championship trophies.

About a month and a half ago we wrote about a local chess club, The Minor Threats, comprised of 2nd-6th graders from four schools in West and Southwest Philly. The kids and their coach, Jason Bui, have been facing the challenge of  raising $5,000 this spring to travel to and compete at the state and national chess championships.

The club was able to raise enough money to make it to the state championships in Carlisle, Penn., in March and did great there! The team picked up a total of seven trophies (three team trophies and four individual ones). More donations are needed for the team’s expenses at the SuperNationals in Nashville, Tenn., next month (about $2,500), but, luckily, a potential donor has offered to match all of the donations that go to the club’s GoFundMe project this week up to $1,000. This is a great opportunity to help the young players and make their dream of competing at the national level come true.

To donate, please follow this link:

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Upcoming open houses at HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy, Spruce Hill Christian School

March 14, 2013

March is the month for open houses at many local schools. Recently, local public schools held Kindergarten open houses. Here’s some info on upcoming open houses at some local private schools.

Friday, March 15

HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy
4400 Baltimore Avenue 
from 9-11 a.m. or 1-3 p.m.

Learn more about the school program by visiting and talking with the administrative staff, faculty and students. The open house includes:

  • Touring the school’s state-of-the-art residence
  • Seeing some cutting-edge assistive technology in action
  • Speaking with current parents to learn from their firsthand experiences with HMS

Please RSVP to Annie Oberfield, 215.222.2566, ext 207, or

If you are not able to attend on this date, please feel free to set up another time to visit.


Thursday, March 21

SpruceHillChristianSchoolSpruce Hill Christian School/City Center Academy, Elementary and Middle School Campus
4115 Baltimore Avenue
9:30 a.m.

Spruce Hill/CCA offers a private k-12 education in the heart of Philadelphia. The school is committed to making a college-preparatory education accessible for all families. The generous financial aid policy welcomes families who may otherwise be unable to afford a private education. You’re invited to visit the school for an Open House to learn more about its mission.

For more information, call 215.382.7839 or visit the school website at

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Clark Park Soccer registration under way; volunteer coaches sought

March 6, 2013

soccer-2011-6Clark Park Youth Soccer, a recreational program for children ages 5 to 11 is returning this Spring and registration is now open. The season will start on March 23 and go on through May 18. More information about the program and registration forms are available on the Friends of Clark Park website.

The program is also seeking volunteer coaches. You don’t need serious soccer skills or coaching experience in order to apply. What’s important is some basic knowledge of the game and enthusiasm for working with kids. If you’d like to volunteer or have questions, please email

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CHOP opens new Pediatric Care Center at 48th and Market

February 7, 2013


The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has recently opened a new, state-of-the-art pediatric care center (Karabots Primary Care Center) at the corner of 48th and Market. The center held its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday. The 52,000-square-foot center will offer pediatric care and community programs to West Philly children and families (the centers at 39th and Chestnut Sts. and 3550 Market St. are moving to the Karabots Center).

The Karabots Center was established with a $7.5 million gift from Nicholas and Athena Karabots and the Karabots Foundation of Fort Washington, Pa. The two-story building contains 56 child-friendly examination rooms, rooms for radiology, hearing and vision testing, and a lab. The facility also houses community programs offered by Children’s Hospital, such as Early Head Start, Community Asthma Prevention Program, domestic violence education, and the Homeless Health Initiative. The Center plans to accommodate over 64,000 outpatient visits annually.

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