Temple Times Online Edition
    MARCH 17, 2005
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New book spells out why we love Philly

Second-grader Adiah Vie reads a passage from Temple University Press’ new children’s book, P is for Philadelphia, illustrated by Philadelphia schoolchildren. Vie attends General George G. Meade Elementary School, a Temple Partnership school.

Students throughout Philadelphia are reading more and learning about their city, thanks to a Temple University Press project that let them help illustrate a children’s book.

Recently published by Temple University Press (TUP), P Is for Philadelphia is an alphabetic tour of the City of Brotherly Love written by children’s author Susan Korman and illustrated by the schoolchildren of Philadelphia. Last spring, students competed in a Temple-sponsored drawing contest, judged by Richard Cohen, former Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts art department chair; Hester Stinnett, acting Tyler School of Art dean; and Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati, founder of The Literary.

Temple University Press has donated copies of P Is for Philadelphia to classrooms across the Philadelphia School District, as well as to more than 50 city branches of the Philadelphia Free Library.

In addition, President David Adamany presented copies to the 1,500 participants at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce luncheon in late February.

Temple University Press commemorated Read Across America Day on March 2 with a signature event, hosted by NBC-10 weatherman and TUP author Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz at the Entertainment and Community Education Center on Main Campus. The event incorporated various members of the community, including schoolchildren from General George G. Meade Elementary School, a Temple Partnership school.


Mayor John Street talked about celebrating literacy, saying, “I subscribe to the mantra of taking care of the diamonds in our own backyard — and we have them in the audience today.” Street then declared March 2, 2005, as Read Across Philadelphia Day and presented TUP Director Alex Holzman with a formal proclamation.

Author Susan Korman; Rosalind Chivis, executive director of high school instruction for the School District of Philadelphia; Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell’s aide, Jonathan Wren; and John DiPaolo, executive director of Temple’s Partnership Schools, also spoke about their lifelong interest in reading and the importance of literacy.

Temple presented framed copies of P Is for Philadelphia book jackets to representatives of the book’s corporate sponsors: PNC Bank, Barnes & Noble College Bookstores, Geno’s, KFC, Sodexho Campus Services, The Staples Foundation for Learning, Taws, and Tierney Communications.

The Meade second-grade class presented the alphabetic artwork from P Is for Philadelphia, and two eighth-grade students, Jamel Haggins and Devon Matthews, read their winning essay contest entries on “What Philadelphia Means to Me.”

Additional readings and events centered around the book will be taking place throughout the region over the next few months. Susan Korman will appear at the at Barnes & Noble Rittenhouse Square on April 13 at 7 p.m., where she will be joined by several of the book’s student artists.

Related story:
Student Drawing Contest illustrates how TU Press helps kids love reading