Easter egg hunts on Saturday (Update with Malcolm X Park hunt)

April 21, 2011

easterThree Easter egg hunts are on tap in the neighborhood on Saturday.

Malcolm X Park – The 20th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Malcolm X Park is Noon- 3pm. It’s a free event with drill team, face painting, line dancing, DJ. Volunteers are needed to help out with the set-up. Call Helen at 215-476-0983 or just show up and enjoy!

St. Mary’s at 3916 Locust Walk will host a hunt for children 13 years and under at 4 p.m. rain or shine. Please bring your own basket. Light refreshments will be available for adults. For more information call 215-386-3916.

• Children up to 8 are invited to Clark Park “B” for a hunt hosted by Renewal Presbyterian Church also at 4 p.m. For more information call 215-727-7200.

• The “Great Egg Hunt” will be at the Walnut Street West Library (40th and Walnut) at 1 p.m.


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Walnut Street Theatre company to put on “The Boy Who Cried Bully” at Blackwell Library

April 19, 2011

Wednesday is supposed to be sticky (about 80 degrees we’re told) and thunderstormy. Since the public school kids are home this week for spring break, a cool event might be The Boy Who Cried Bully, a free performance put on by the Walnut Street Theatre’s touring company at the Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library (52nd and Sansom).

Here is a description of the play from the Walnut Street Theatre website:

“Meet Nate, a typical third-grader with a love for telling tall tales. Nate’s biggest problem is Sam, a fifth-grade bully who has it in for him and his friends. Thankfully, Bob the Bully-Buster visits to teach Nate’s class what they can do to identify and prevent bullying in school. Based on the classic Aesop’s fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, this honest, funny and engaging production looks at stretching truths and accepting differences.”

The performance begins at 4 p.m. on Wednesday and is suitable for kids K through 5th grade. For more info call the library at 215-685-7424.


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Crazy about manga

April 14, 2011

mangaEvery couple of weeks a small room in the Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library at 52nd and Sansom is converted into a shrine to the Japanese comic art genre of manga. Teens and ‘tweens (10-12 year-olds) stop by to talk manga, draw manga, read manga and even listen to music about manga.

Manga, which in Japan is read by all segments of society, has swept through this generation of American kids in Harry Potter-like fashion.

“It appeals to a wide range of what you’re looking for,” said Shaunda, a Philadelphia High School for Girls student. “If you’re looking for fantasy, they have fantasy. They’re got action and lots of romance.”

Librarians have welcomed the interest in manga and have dedicated more money to bolster library collections.

“Some of the stories are kind of fantastic,” said Blackwell librarian Jeanne Hamann.

She added that kids who grew up with Pokemon were sort of “primed” for manga.

Hamann also said interest in manga has opened a window into Japanese culture for many.

That was certainly evident at this week’s Manga Cafe. As fans sat at table drawing, reading and talking manga, Japanese music played in the background. Kids leafed through Japanese magazines and Japanese food was served.

See the slideshow below for a better look at the Manga Cafe.


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Scholarships available for Neighborhood Bike Works summer camp

March 29, 2011

Neighborhood Bike WorksA few scholarships still remain for the Neighborhood Bike Works summer cycling camp. Half of camp spots go to scholarship recipients ages 8-12.

Based out of the Neighborhood Bike Works shop at 3916 Locust Walk behind the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, the summer camp offers kids the chance to rebuild a bike and earn a bike, helmet and lock over a two-week session. The camp also includes rides and field trips and instruction on safe cycling, nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

The camp, now in its ninth year, runs Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there are four two-week sessions available. The sessions begin on July 5, July 18, August 1 and August 15. Only scholarships slots remain for all camp sessions. The fees for campers normally run $425 to $450 per session.

A half-day session is also available at the North Philly Neighborhood Bike Works shop.

For more information go to the Neighborhood Bike Works website or call Summer Camp Director Daniel Helms at 215-386-0316. His e-mail is dan – at –


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Young chess players compete at Blackwell Library

March 13, 2011


About 40 young chess players gathered at the Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library (152 S. 52nd St.) on Saturday to compete in a three-round tournament and to raise interest in the library’s chess club.

The library and After School Activities Partnership (ASAP) sponsored the tournament. Players from the Blackwell Library club and others from the club at the Walnut Street West Library took part. The Blackwell club meets every Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and youth players K-12 are invited to join.
Click on the slideshow below for more photos.

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District adds two days to school calendar

March 10, 2011

Sledding in Clark Park was fun while it lasted. Now it’s time to pay up. (Photo by Mike Lyons)

The sledding was awesome. The snowball fights were grand. But now it’s time to pay for those snow days. The School District of Philadelphia just announced that it will add two days to this year’s calendar to make up for classes missed during the winter.

The last day for students is now Tuesday, June 21 and the last day for teachers and staff is June 22.

Philadelphia schools were closed January 12th, 27th, 28th, and February 22nd because of snow.

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