Community Science Carnival this Saturday

July 31, 2015

Families are invited this Saturday (Aug. 1) to participate in hands-on activities and have fun at the 3rd annual Community Science Carnival organized by White Rock Baptist Church and the Ernest E. Just Biomedical Society at the University of Pennsylvania. The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m., and guests are asked to arrive by 11:30 for registration and lunch.

This is a free event to expose 2nd-6th graders to hands on scientific activities led by graduate and post-doctoral scientists. For parents, there will also be hands-on experiment workshops and poster sessions with scientists.

The location is 5240 Chestnut Street, at the White Rock Baptist Church Gym. See the flier below for more information.


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The Nesting House children’s boutique to open new location at 45th and Baltimore

June 30, 2015


Photo from The Nesting House’s Facebook page.

The Nesting House, a local boutique that offers a mix of gently used kids clothes and items (ages newborn to 8), as well as new parenting items, baby registry and toys, will be opening a location soon at 4501 Baltimore Ave.

The first Nesting House store opened its doors five years ago in  Mt. Airy and there was a need to accommodate its growing customer base. West Philly has been in the running since the first expansion of the store (a second location opened in Collingswood, NJ two years ago after a spirited vote online as to where the next location should be), and the owners didn’t need another vote to make their decision.

“With Clark Park, Penn Alexander School, Milk and Honey, and Mariposa co-op nearby, the area boasts one of the ingredients for the store’s success – a neighborhood that creates a one stop shopping experience for busy families looking to support local businesses,” owners Jen and Chris Kinka said.  Continue Reading

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Overcoming illness, breakdowns and lost bags in Ohio, Minor Threats chess team brings home some metal

May 18, 2015

Minor Threats Chess Club’s coach, Jason Bui, sent us an update on the latest achievements by his students, who recently returned from the Elementary National Championships in Nashville, Tenn. and also participated in other chess championships this spring. We wrote about the club and its fundraising efforts earlier this year. The Minor Threats Chess Club is based at Mitchell Elementary School and its members are West Philly schoolchildren in grades 3 through 8.

It has been a loooong month for the Minor Threats Chess Club. We spent a total of 16 out of 32 days on the road from April to May. We had three very long bus rides. We had our bags lost in Ohio (don’t worry, we got them back). We broke down along the side of the turnpike on the way back from Louisville (everyone got home safe and sound). We had sick kids and parents. The kids never complained.

Syair was sick on Sunday in Nashville. He threw up before his first round. He went in and won and then came out and still couldn’t eat, took a nap, went in and won the last round of the day. He won his first Nationals trophy that weekend.


Derrick Moore, a 4th grader at Mitchell Elementary School, with a trophy. (Photo courtesy of Minor Threats Chess Club)

Junior High Nationals was Derrick’s first Nationals. He won his first individual trophy there.

The Philadelphia Chess Society (our super group consisting of Paul Robeson Chess Club, Minor Threats Chess Club, and Enon Connected Pawns) won 7 trophies at Elementary Nationals. Not bad for only having 13 kids playing.

These trips are amazing opportunities for our kids. They learn so much about the world, chess, and themselves. They get to see that there is a whole big world out there. They get to see that if they are brave and they are willing to work hard that nothing can hold them back.

I would not be able to take these kids on these trips without the support of people like you. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

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The Hacktory continues to inspire innovation in West Philly

May 12, 2015


Those walking by the Science Center building on 37th and Market street can see colorful displays on the first floor windows, but little do most know that those colorful displays belong to an innovation tech camp called The Hacktory. The name was created to describe two goals the group set out to accomplish: find solutions and create products.

An early inception of the organization was created in 2007, which met on a monthly basis to celebrate do-it-yourself efforts in engineering and technology. Georgia Guthrie, The Hacktory’s executive director, began volunteering with the group right before it ran out of steam in 2009 but she was determined to keep it going in some sort of capacity.

Today, The Hacktory has three teachers and one teaching assistant. Currently one workshop is being offered, a micro controller programming class for Raspberry Pi. Past classes have covered topics such as building a bike bag, building a DIY arcade, intro to data mapping with map-making interface CatroDB and more.

The Hacktory also offers a weekly after-school program for 3rd to 5th graders (Kid’s Club), and enrollment has begun for its summer camp programs, which kick off on June 22. 
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Blackwell aide, Southwest District Services under scrutiny; first lay principal at West Catholic and more in news roundup

May 5, 2015

Here’s a roundup of some of the latest news and events in the area.

First Lay Principal for West Catholic Preparatory High School


James P. Gallagher

The Office of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (OCE) has recently announced the appointment of Mr. James P. Gallagher as Principal of West Catholic Preparatory High School in West Philadelphia effective July 1st. He is the first lay principal in the 98-year-old history of the school. Mr. Gallagher’s appointment follows the January 2015 announcement that Sister Mary Bur, IHM, will retire at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year after 21 years as principal and 27 total years of service to the school.

Mr. Gallagher holds his Masters of Education Degree in Curriculum, Instruction, Technology, and Education from Temple University. He has taught for several years at Lingelbach Elementary School for the School District of Philadelphia and most recently has worked as an Instructor of Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary Classroom at Saint Joseph’s University.  Continue Reading

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Annual Easter Egg Hunts return this weekend

March 31, 2015

egg huntEaster is approaching fast, and many parents and guardians are looking for information about Easter egg hunts in the area. Annual egg hunts at places like Clark Park, St. Mary’s Church, Walnut St West Library and more will be held again this year. Details are below. If you know of any other local Easter egg hunts not included in the list please email us at or post information in the comments section below.



10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Spring Egg Hunts at Walnut Street West Library (40th and Walnut)

Two egg hunts will be held behind the library: 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Spring Egg Hunt for preschoolers. 1-2:30 p.m. – Spring Egg Hunt for kids ages 6 and up. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Walnut St West Library.


11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Easter Egg Hunt at Clark Park (43rd and Chester)

Renewal Presbyterian Church is having its annual Easter Egg Hunt at Clark Park (next to the toddler playground) on Saturday, April 4. Families, friends and all neighbors are invited to join them for an egg hunt, crafts, and fun in the park! The egg hunt is for children ages 1-8 (please sign up at the beginning of the event). There will also be a raffle basket giveaway from local West Philly venues.

12:30 – 2 p.m.

Woodland Presbyterian Church Easter Egg Hunt (42nd and Pine)

1:00 p.m. – Registration
1:15 p.m. – Children 5 and under
1:30 p.m. – Children 6 and over

Free pretzels, crafts, children’s bibles, and treats.  Continue Reading

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