Philadelphia Reads

Rating: 4.92 stars   13 reviews

Issues:

Location: 325 Chestnut St. Suite 903 Philadelphia PA 19106 USA

Mission: To strengthen the literacy skills of Philadelphia’s youngest and neediest school children by providing mentors and resources to in-school, after school and summer programs.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Philadelphia Reads is a fantastic organization. Their Power Partners program, which matches inner city students with volunteers at companies throughout the city for one hour of reading per week, is one of the best examples of volunteer based public service that I've encountered. They bring the students to the volunteers, making it easy for busy professionals to fit in the volunteer commitment, and they foster strong volunteer - child relationships through one on one interaction in an environment that is safe.

Over the three years that I have volunteered, I have seen each of my students improve their reading levels. For some students, that progress is about getting the one on one attention to move beyond grade level reading and develop past where the rest of the class might be; for others, it is merely moving from not knowing the alphabet and being completely confused in class to being able to read a few words at the end of the year and follow along when the teacher is facilitating. Literacy is critical to success in so many areas, and this organization is addressing Philadelphia's literacy issues in a way that is both measurable and meaningful to students and volunteers.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered several times to sort and shelve books for Philadelphia Reads as part of my company's participation in service days. Each time I have been so impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication of the staff. Seeing the shelves fill up with books that can help hundreds or even thousands of children learn to read and to love it is inspiring.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

A very fulfilling volunteer experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give it lots of money to expand!

Rating: 5 stars  

A wonderful place for teachers throughout Philadelphia to get much needed books and teaching materials for free. Whenever we drop off our elementary school's book collection, the place is buzzing with teachers getting books!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen how desperately needed books are given to teachers and classrooms

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make it even bigger

Rating: 5 stars  

Each year, the students at Lynnewood Elementary School in Havertown, PA, donate 2000+ books to a week-long book drive to benefit Philadelphia Reads. The children at Lynnewood have access to classroom libraries, a school library and a township library. They are aware that they are helping to build classroom libraries and improve literacy skills. Equally important, the children get to see how their many simple acts of generosity can help so many children in need.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

By delivering books to the Philadelphia Reads book bank and speaking with its coordinators/volunteers, I have seen this operation first hand. The volunteers work very hard to organize and categorize books so that school teachers can easily choose books which will be appropriate for their students.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change anything but I would do my best to help others learn about Philadelphia Reads and their mission.

Rating: 4 stars  

All summer at Education Works Morton Site we had a fabulous time doing the Philly Reads program. The theme this year was Growing A Peaceful Community and we did just that right at camp. Every day we read a story based on building the character of every individual camper while showing them how to independently build a better community at the same time. Touching on the vocabulary prior to doing a read aloud assisted campers with comprehending every story that much more. Reading stories such as City Green and following up with arts and crafts peeked their interest to no return. They created ideas to pick up the park, reuse classroom paper, and turn out the lights whenever we left our room. Our class did all of those things in order to support a green environment. Meanwhile, we studied how plants grow and analyzed how they helped our communities as well. Giving a child a magnifying class will turn them into an instant scientist who is ready to dive into action head first. Their observations and discussions lead right back to how each one thought he or she could contribute to Growing a Peaceful Community. There was a trip to the Constitution Center that helped give the campers that sense of pride that We The People are what creates this country. It reiterated how neighborhoods work together which was reviewed several times at camp during civic lessons. Campers enjoyed sharing the creative ideas on how to be better citizens and how to help others that were written down in journals. Keeping track of the campers journals was a wonderful way to see how they were stacking upon their prior knowledge throughout the summer. The kids were so enthusiastic about improving their community that they wanted to spread the news. After reading Wanda’s Roses they developed an idea to send out invitations to the entire camp. The kids wanted to have a Planting Party. I thought this was the perfect plan and we jumped right into creating invitations. We had the camp arrive at our class and listen to a story about a woman who planted trees all over her country through the help of others. Afterward, the campers were all given marigold seeds, a little cup, and soil to make their own plant. It was a great success and the kids excitedly cleaned up after our guests left while discussing how the whole Morton Site was affected by something we had implemented. Every story had a meaning and every story had a huge impact on which direction we should take our fantastic fun activities that related to the stories. The entire season was just proof that Philly Reads....and loves it

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the kids in the classroom become more excited about Reading. As a teacher I know it is very important for children to be enthusiastic about reading in order to enhance their individual educations!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

suggest it was provided at EVERY summer camp across Philadelphia...or even America!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the support from the program in order to implement it properly.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

wonderful!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

spread far and wide so that every child could benefit in Philadelphia during the summer.

Ways to make it better...

we were provided with more supplies for the stucents. There was a good amount of paper and coloring materials, but more paints and things for enhancement in the crafts would make it evenbetter!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

working around the schedules of the summer camps. They should try to be more flexible so that we could implement it without any issues because we impact their campers immensely.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I can't wait to do it again next summer!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I csn"t thank the Book Bank enough for helping me to help the children of Phila. You have put books into the hands of children and given them the desire to read! Thank you again for all that you do. Paula

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The Book Bank has given me the opportunity to furnish a class library and enable city kids to have real books.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

The Philadelphia Reads program does wonders for the students it serves in Philadelphia. It gives classroom teachers the opportunity to expand classroom, school and home libraries. It is a TRUE BLESSING to educators, students and parents and makes a PROFOUND impact on quality books being available to students. And, it gets better each year:)

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my classroom.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the access to quality books for students.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly and helpful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Distribute more books to students in need.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-10-01

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

American Executive Centers has volunteered with Phladelphia Reads for the last three years. Our team has been very impressed with the work ethic of all the volunteers at Philadelphia Reads. The Reading Olympics is such a great event for all the children participating across the city and suburbs. This group really is raising a city of readers. A huge endeavor - but their dedication will make them successful. We plan on continuing to support Philadelphia Reads for many years to come.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very dedicated and determined to raise a City of Readers

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

A couple years ago, I began my first years teaching and I knew that I would need to build a classroom library for my fifth graders. I began to panic because I was a week away from the opening week of classes, when my coworkers forwarded me to the book bank run by Philadelphia Reads. Once, I got to the book bank I felt like I was in a toy store. The books were already leveled, neatly compiled and in great condition. Of course, I was then able to expose my students to a myriad of materials. I am always referring other educators to the book bank for their literature needs. It is a phenomenal resource for the educator and students alike.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my work. Many new educators could use helpful resources with not a whole lot of fuss.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

NA

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The simplicity and organization.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Very knowledgeable.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Continue to support and educate students, parents, and educators all over the city of Philadelphia.

Ways to make it better...

My experiences were great.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

NA

One thing I'd also say is that...

NA

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-9-01

Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Bonnie Stone of Philadelphia Reads provided excellent training for our group of seven tutors. She was enthusiastic, informative and supportive. She provided useful materials and tips and was skilled at balancing the training she offered with the needs and interests of the people she was listening to. In addition, our group of tutors uses many books from the well-organized collection of Philadelphia Reads, and we look forward to continuing to do so. Philadelphia Reads makes it easy to find books in good condition that are fun and age-appropriate for the children we work with.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

With more money Philadelphia Reads could encourage more one-on-one tutoring in and after school while improving the quality of the tutoring. It could also improve the service of the book collection by being able to staff more hours and pay organizers.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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