From the Chronicle • Germantown News Stories

June 10, 2010 • GC.061010.pdf

In This Issue

The Stories

  1. BulletTurn Out to Remake Wister School

  2. BulletVolunteers Help Garfield St. Go ‘Green’

  3. BulletKids Increase Learning Power Through District’s SLAM Program

  4. BulletBlack Diamonds- The Significance of Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige

  5. BulletGive Your Views About Importance of Green Space

  6. BulletJune PSA Meetings

  7. BulletNew Black Writers Museum Highlights Harlem Renaissance

  8. BulletOld Friends Share Precious Memories and Raise Funds for Covenant House

  9. BulletHansberry Plant Sale and Flea Market

  10. BulletRegister Now for Tire Roundup Program

  11. BulletRev. Schaef is Guest Preacher at FUMCOG

  12. BulletLocal Author to Launch Book

  13. BulletJewish Dialogue Group Benefit

  14. BulletMt. Zion Concert

  15. BulletMt. Tabor

  16. BulletNovelist at Big Blue Marble

  17. BulletPoet-ify Returns

  18. BulletNative American Life at Stenton

  19. BulletNW Sites Celebrate Juneteenth

Eagles Turn Out to Remake Wister School


Editorial Intern

The first order of business was dividing up the tasks to be done and assigning people to them. At left, players and staff congregated under banners listing the various projects to be done.

On Thursday, June 3, the Philadelphia Eagles flocked to John Wister Public School on East Bringhurst Street for their 14th Annual Playground Build.

Led by the Eagles Youth Partnership, players, coaches, cheerleaders and other staff members joined with students and community members to make Wister’s playground a more enriching experience and a safer place to play by renovating play facilities, installing a mural, and improving landscaping.

“We’ve been trying to get a playground for eight years,” Principal Donna Smith said. “I guess good things come to those who wait.”

According to Smith, Wister’s playground has been less than satisfactory in the eight years that she has been principal. Crumbling asphalt and two basketball courts were all the school had. “It was barren,” she said. “There was nothing there.”

Enter the Eagles Youth Partnership.

At right: one of the major tasks was the installation of the new playground. Players helped lay the concrete to anchor the equipment.

Wister was chosen by Eagles Youth Partnership (EYP) with the help of the School District of Philadelphia. The district provides EYP with a list of schools that are in need of its services. EYP narrows the list down by several factors, including school size.

According to Sarah Martinezas-Helfman, the executive director of the Partnership, about 400 Eagles employees descend upon a chosen school to participate in the playground build, so finding a school large enough to accommodate that number is essential.

After EYP selects the school, they meet with school leadership to plan the next steps. “We do it with [the school] and it takes seven months of planning,” Martinez-Helfman said. “We want to make sure the school is prepared for us.”

“Every week they would come out and we would meet,” said Smith. “We got to pick the [playground] equipment.”

The final plans included a playground for the younger children, physical fitness equipment for older children, turf for field sports, relays lines, hopscotch lines, basketball courts, a patio with checker and chessboards, and a mural to cover the entirety of Wister School.

Deborah Zuchman, project manager for the Mural Arts Program, passed out brushes and cups of paint to those working on the mural, among them (left) Head Coach Andy Reid.

“They had it pretty much together,” said Debra Roberts, director of Operations for the Wister Neighborhood Council, about EYP. “They knew exactly what they were doing and how to do it.”

But building a playground is not enough for EYP. Starting in January, it sponsored a program called Power Partners in which students were bused to Lincoln Financial Field every Monday for four weeks to work on literacy skills with Eagles employees.

“They played all kinds of vocabulary games with them,” said Smith. “Their reading levels went through the roof.”

EYP even sponsored Art Stars, an after school program. Over 50 pieces of student artwork were selected for inclusion in the mural.

The Eagles are also sponsoring a CHAMPS program that will allow for two sixth grade classrooms to adopt a dog that will be trained for landmine identification in war-torn countries. Students get to name the dog and follow its work throughout the year.

Permanence is also an important part of the project. “This is about sustainability with the community,” Martinez-Helfman said. “We’re here to stay.”

Players gave many autographs to students and staff. Quarterback Michael Vick signs the shirts of Wister students, who collected many signatures on their garments.

EYP emphasized the importance of teamwork. “This didn’t happen without an enormous amount of generosity of the partners,” said Martinez-Helfman. “Everywhere you look is just a phenomenal team effort.”

Participants in the Playground Build included the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, the School District of Philadelphia, Playworld Systems, Sprinturf, Earthforce, Grumblethorpe and more.

Reactions to the day’s events were positive all around.

“[This is] like manna from heaven,” said Smith. “More than anything it’s building [the children’s] self-esteem. As a result, it builds pride in their school.

“We’ve been trying for years to bring positive effects … to the whole community,” said Roberts. “I think it’s going to make a world of difference to the children and to the community.”

Volunteers Help Garfield St. Go ‘Green’



Last week was an example of volunteerism at its best in East Germantown.

First, on Thursday, the Philadelphia Eagles football team came to Wister Elementary School to give a fresh face and new equipment to the school on East Bringhurst Street through the Eagles Youth Partnership.

Then two days later and only a few blocks away on the unit block of East Garfield Street,  Rebuilding Philadelphia, a non-profit that focuses on preserving affordable homeownership through volunteer resources, led more than 60 volunteers in a project designed to make the whole block “go green.”

“Green building is our whole theme here,” said Jennifer Shropshire, board president of Rebuilding Philadelphia. “We’re working in old houses on this block where people have been living forever … we’re doing 22 houses and the goal is to reduce their energy bills by 30 percent.”

More than 60 volunteers from Popular Mechanics magazine, Rebuilding Philadelphia, Wister Neighborhood Council and the community came to Garfield Street to create a community garden, install new lighting and insulation, caulk windows and doors, and instruct residents on how to be more energy efficient. 

There are two requirements for a Rebuilding Philadelphia project, said Shropshire: it must benefit low-income homeowners who are living in their houses and, she said, “A neighborhood where there’s need but also a neighborhood where they’re trying to do something.”

The need was there on Garfield Street and Wister Neighborhood Council’s work on behalf of its neighborhood filled the second requirement, she said.

“We did a project some time ago at Face to Face in Germantown,” Shropshire said, and Wister came to us. They’re a willing partner. If  we tried to do we did this by passing out flyers on a house–to-house basis,  there wouldn’t have been enough participation.”

Debra Roberts, director of operations for Wister Neighborhood Council,   said that Wister’s involvement stemmed from seeing a new item about Rebuilding Philadelphia on TV. “We contacted them in September and October of last year and it sort of took off fast from there. They were looking for a certain number of homes and we really encouraged them to do Germantown.”

Wister played a key role in education and outreach, holding meetings to tell residents what the possibilities for the project were, said Shropshire.

She said that the project on Garfield Street was different from others that rebuilding Philadelphia had done in that it was beginning with energy-efficiency rather that major home repairs. “This is the lighter end of the project that we’re doing,” she said. “Energy efficiency is first this time.”

This is the second such project that Rebuilding Philadelphia has done in the neighborhood – the first concerned eleven homes on April 24 – and it won’t be the last.   They’ll be back later this month to do another home nearby on Penn Street.

For more information about Rebuilding Philadelphia visit

Kids Increase Learning Power Through District’s SLAM Program



Time is running out to register students for The School District of Philadelphia’s Summer Learning and More (S.L.A.M.). As part of the goals and initiatives of Imagine 2014, the District is offering its second summer edition of S.L.A.M.  from June 29 to July 28. 

This year’s program contains a new component for children entering kindergarten in the fall.  The pre-kindergarten program is available at select empowerment schools. There are five elementary schools participating in the northwest region:  Pennell, Wister, Ellwood, Pastorius and Roosevelt elementary schools.

The original deadline of June 11 was changed to June 9, said Barbra Farley, director of Communications for the School District of Philadelphia. Parents should apply at their local elementary school or at 440 North Broad Street, Farley said.  However, parents can still apply to the program, if they miss the deadline but may be placed on a waiting list.

“This is not your grandfather’s summer school,” said Farley.  The summer program differs from past summer school programs because it offers enrichment programs such as dance, art, music and sports, Farley said.  Empowerment school sites provide students with a free full-day of academic and enrichment activities.

The program contains elements for every grade level. High school students can recover failed credits or earn up to one elective credit toward their diplomas. All eighth grade students are invited to attend one of the 29 high school sites offering an eighth-to-ninth grade transition curriculum.  Students in kindergarten to seventh grade can attend to gain new skills or can sign up to participate in afternoon enrichment activities held from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

“S.L.A.M. will give students an additional 21 days of learning to take a leap forward, gain new skills, make a smooth transition to high school, or acquire credits for graduation,” said District Superintendant Arlene Ackerman.

Parents can register students or children entering kindergarten at their neighborhood school.  The program runs from 8:15 a.m. to  2:45 p.m. It provides free breakfast and lunch. The schedule contains two reading periods, two math periods and two enrichment activities.

Wister Elementary School, 67 East Bringhurst Street, is one of the select empowerment schools. The pre-kindergarten program at those schools helps children transition to a full-day structured schedule, said Wister’s principal, Donna Smith.

“It is an opportunity for students to work on not only academics but participate in different enrichment programs that otherwise they may not have access to,” Smith said.

Wister Elementary School’s enrichment programs include art, clay and painting, Smith said.

“A large component of this program involves the parents participation in the literacy program,” Smith said.

Parents are encouraged to participate by encouraging children to complete at-home pre-reading exercises, Smith said.

Pre-reading activity examples include: asking the child to predict what will happen in the book; what he or she thinks the book is about; asking children who the main characters are; and coloring pictures in about what happened.  The program provides parents with questions.  Children may compare differences in the characters. Children are encouraged to compare the characters to themselves - in what ways are they different or the same? Other questions concern the setting of the book.

The children begin to use the “Wister Wizard focus” or the district’s positive behavior system through the “Give Me Five Technique,” Smith said. The five steps are eyes on teacher, ears listening, hands at side, feet still and mouths closed. “Children learn what listening looks like and sounds like,” Smith said.

Throughout the year,  Smith said, students work with Playworks, an nonprofit organization that works with kids to help them learn conflict resolution skills through simple games such as rock, paper, scissors to decide who will go to an activity section first.

This summer, classes at Wister will visit the Grumblethrope mansion directly adjacent to the school to learn about science through hands-on projects.

So if you want to have a slamming summer, you better hurry and register for The School District of Philadelphia’s S.L.A.M. Program at your local neighborhood school. For more information call 215-400-4000 or go to

Black Diamonds

The Significance of Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige


Guest Writer

Our series so far has focused on Philadelphia’s black baseball history and it’s largely unknown teams and star players.  Mt. Airy Baseball celebrates this history by calling its senior and traveling teams the “Stars” after the Philadelphia Stars. What is really being celebrated, however, is the triumph over segregation in American sports and life. Getting to Jackie Robinson was a long complicated road however, and in many regards, much was also lost in the transition.

The most transcendent black baseball player of all time was Leroy “Satchel” Paige.  Even the non-baseball fan has heard of him and knows he was a pitcher.  Casual baseball fans know of his long career and great showmanship.  Students of the game can recall his 1,500 wins and over 300 shutouts.  Satchel also followed Robinson across the color barrier, debuting as the oldest rookie ever at age 42 in the Major Leagues and playing professionally until almost 50 years old.

Paige’s importance to baseball, however, goes well beyond his amazing skills and accomplishments on the diamond. Without his larger-than-life personality and his marketability, the black professional leagues may not have survived. Less known is his major influence on the establishment of the game in Latin America, today’s richest source of big league talent.  And his barnstorming exhibitions against Major League players helped bolster interest in the game during the Great Depression and World War II, when the economic survival of all professional baseball, white and black, was very uncertain.

Satchel Paige’s life and baseball career begins in the deep South of Mobile, Alabama.  His quick rise to prominence in the minor Negro Southern League came during the rise of the first three great black professional leagues.  While much is documented and written about Rube Foster’s Negro National League and Ed Bolden’s Eastern Colored League, there is much more we don’t know about their partner, the Negro Southern League.  Suffice to say that being a black baseball player or entrepreneur during the height of Jim Crow, Klan violence and lynching couldn’t have been easy.

Paige spent the 1930s playing in the successor leagues established by Gus Greenlee.  The confluence of great players like Paige, Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell and others are what the casual baseball fan knows about segregated black baseball.  Much less known however is the extensive time that Paige, especially, spent playing with integrated teams in North Dakota in the Northern League and in winter baseball leagues in California.

These teams gave fans experience and comfort with seeing integrated baseball teams play regularly.  He also barnstormed occasionally with one of the most interesting baseball teams of all time, the Benton Harbor, Michigan based “Colored House of David” team.

Satchel’s relationship with some of the greatest white baseball players of the day, and their frequent exhibitions in the 1930s and 40s, were of tremendous importance toward paving the road to integration in baseball.  Paige played and barnstormed against Babe Ruth, Dizzy Dean, and Bob Feller.  These tours were followed with intense interest not only by the vibrant African American press, but increasingly the white sports writers as well.

Paige finally reached the major leagues in 1948 under Bill Veeck, the greatest second division Major League promoter of all time, who may very well have saved baseball in St. Louis and Cleveland.  Paige was honored as the first “Negro League” inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971. Studying Satchel Paige will give the young baseball player and fan a lifetime of history to ponder, both on and off the diamond.

Editor’s note: this is the eighth in a series of articles called “Black Diamonds”  on the history of African American baseball,  commemorating the 25th anniversary of Mt. Airy Baseball. Mt Airy Baseball honors this great tradition by calling its senior and tournament teams the “Stars,” paying tribute to the former Philadelphia Stars team of the Negro Leagues.

Give Your Views About Importance of Green Space

We know now more than ever the importance of park space to the health of our communities. Creating new quality open space adds value to private development, jobs to the workforce and supports Philadelphia’s competitive advantage in the new economy. Open space can also provide opportunities for children, youth, and families to enjoy numerous outdoor recreation and environmental education activities. It can help us reduce our carbon footprint, address climate change and meet the environmental demands of the new century.

In Philadelphia, we have a renowned urban park system but we are particularly challenged by inequitable access to existing parks. Everyone deserves access to public parks and open space.  Tell us what it means to you as the City of Philadelphia works to increase access to green space citywide.

Attend one of the six community meetings coming up to help shape the Mayor’s action plan to create 500 new acres of public green space in Philadelphia.  Join the conversation with the Department of Parks and Recreation about how green space contributes to urban life and what more public green space would mean to your community.  Each meeting will include a site tour, a presentation from Parks and Recreation leadership on the Mayor’s efforts through Greenworks Philadelphia and the opportunity to have your voice heard in this important initiative.

Your opinion matters.  Join us!

The meeting for Northwest Philadelphia will be held Monday, June 14, 6:30 p.m., at Germantown Friends School, 31 West Coulter Street. For more information and to RSVP, visit or call 215-683-3666 or 215-898-6316.

June PSA Meetings

June Police Service Area meetings in the 14th District are as follows:

PSA1, with Lt. Raymond Jackson and community facilitator Geneva Green of the Block Captain Association, on June 22, 7-9 p.m., at the West Oak Lane Senior center, 7210 Ogontz Avenue. PSA 1 covers West Oak Lane, East Germantown between Stenton and Chew avenues, and East Mt. Airy south of Gorgas Lane and Vernon Road.

PSA2, with Lt. Brian Murphy and community facilitator James Igess of Wister Neighborhood Council, June 24, 7-9 p.m., at Victory Baptist Church, 5131 Germantown Avenue.  PSA 2 covers the area  between Germantown and Chew avenues, from Gorgas Lane to Wister Street.

PSA3, with Lt. Mark Overwise and community facilitator Heather Pierce of Carpenter Woods Town Watch, on June 16, 7-9 p.m., at Germantown Jewish center, 400 West Ellet Street. PSA 3 covers West Mt. Airy and West Central Germantown.

PSA4, with Lt. Michael Kopecki and community facilitator Dr. Arleen Bennett of Safe Streets, on June 29, 7-9 p.m., at Oxford Presbyterian Church, Stenton and Gowen avenues. PSA 4 covers Chestnut Hill and East Mt. Airy between Germantown and Cheltenham avenues, bordered on the south by Gorgas Lane and Vernon Road.

For more information call the 14th Police District at 215-686-3140.

New Black Writers Museum Highlights Harlem Renaissance

Top left: Brent Washington Jr. recites at the opening ceremony.

Right: Supreme Dow, the museum’s creator.

Below: Among the displays on the walls is poet Claude McKay’s powerful poem “If We Must Die.” 


Editorial Intern

“One of the things we want to do here is provide an opportunity to grow,” Supreme Dow, founder of the new Black Writer’s Museum, said to the crowd gathered at the museum’s grand opening on Saturday June 5.  “Our mission is to inspire youth.”

Located at 23 Maplewood Avenue in the Maplewood Mall, the Black Writer’s Museum is the first of its kind to be built in the Northwest, and perhaps in Philadelphia.

According to attendee James Villarreal, a mentor to Dow and a retired teacher of 34 years experience, “Some places have little elements” of black writers as part of their exhibits, but none focus entirely on it.

Initially concentrating on selected writers of the Harlem Renaissance, and including the likes of Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Gwendolyn Brooke, Margaret Walker and Paul Laurence Dunbar, the museum is currently a renovated shop displaying pictures of the writers, their biographical information and some of their work.

However, Dow has ambitions to expand the project to include much more. “This is an exhibit that is growing,” he said. “This is a work in progress.”

His plans include adding two more upstairs rooms to the museum, one for exhibits, and another for a library and resource center, and adding a full-time and part-time employee to the staff.

The second exhibit will focus on writers from the Black Arts movement such as James Baldwin, Richard Wright and Sonia Sanchez.

Financially, the library and resource center will most likely prove the most troublesome. The resource center will require several computers, and the library requires books. Dow estimates that the cost will lie over $100,000.

Dow will continue to raise funds for the museum, a non-profit organization, the same way he has been: by soliciting sponsorships from community members and corporations.

“We’re looking for friends to help build our library and resource center,” he said to the crowd gathered at the grand opening.

The exhibits are important, Dow said, but it is more important to make the museum a center for cultivating fundamental literary concepts. “This is a vision of mine,” Dow said. “This was the goal.”

Dow, who has been involved in non-profit work for much of his life as an independent consultant for youth programs, used his life savings to jumpstart the museum. He credits the financial and spiritual support of his family and friends with his success.

“They not only believed in my vision, they gave because they thought that I could do it,” Dow said.

“This is his passion,” said Derrick Dow, Dow’s brother. “This is his love.”

“He has such deep principles,” said Villarreal. “He’s got relentless energy.

Founding the museum was not without challenges. The process leading up to the opening spanned an 18-month period requiring a large amount of research and planning. “All of that is a labor of love so I don’t think of that as an obstacle,” Dow said.

Students from local schools read from the works of writer’s displayed at the museum to celebrate the grand opening. Brent Washington, Jr., an eight-year-old at A. B. Day, Tianni Arnold, a 10th grader at Northeast High School, and Kenneth Gaskens-West, a fourth-grader at John Wister Elementary School presented pieces to much applause.

In all, community members responded positively to the museum.

“I believe that [the museum] can take some of the children off of the streets and get them into academics,” Atanee Jones said.

“All of these people saw what took place here as a beginning,” Villarreal said. “There will probably most likely be famous writers coming here to present their work.”

Museum hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information call 267-297-3078.

Old Friends Share Precious Memories and Raise Funds for Covenant House

Left, front row, left to right: Alex Talmadge, Jr., Richard Laws, Jr., Winter Chatman, Skylar Talmadge. Behind them: Naeem Murdic, Jiana Murdic. From Covenant House accepting the gift is Roscoe McGill. Over $3,000 has been collected for Covenant House since 2008.


Guest Writer

Winter Chatman and Alex Talmadge both celebrate their birthdays at the end of May, near Memorial Day.  Since 2002, they’ve turned their personal celebration into a massive reunion of people, all old friends from three decades (60’s, 70’s, 80’s) and from the same neighborhood who meet every two years at this bi-annual event known as the Mt. Airy House Party.  Hundreds of us gather every two years to meet and greet our old friends. 

In 2008 they decided to make the party have a purpose in addition to the mass reunion, and approached Covenant House.  It seemed appropriate to celebrate our memories of our teen years and our lifelong friendships by supporting a charity that deals with at-risk teenagers. 

“Our teen years were really special growing up in Mt. Airy, and we thought Covenant House would be an appropriate charity to celebrate with our giving.” says Winter Chatman. 

“Teens served by Covenant House may be homeless or runaways.  We know personal items, toiletries and Target Gift cards we collect are distributed by Covenant House to their residents, so 100 percent of our donations are going directly to those in need,” adds Alex Talmadge Jr.

We have a unique group of friends.

Growing up in Mt. Airy in those years was a dream of a life. None of us realized it back then, how special it all was until we got older, went away to college and found that most people in the world don’t have the kind of friends we grew up with and who we used to take for granted.

Our commonality was living in this neighborhood. Mt. Airy has a long history of harmony, and our lives were relatively isolated from much of the turmoil of the outside world. As pre-teens and teens there were parties every weekend at someone’s home, supervised by parents, in basements in and around Mt. Airy, and Germantown. You did not need invitations. News was spread by word of mouth. Occasionally we would travel out of the neighborhood to homes in Yeadon, West Oak Lane, and a few other neighborhoods, but the majority of these parties were in Mt. Airy and Germantown. Summer/winter - every weekend year round. There were never any fights, or any serious problems. Those of us with children today feel kind of sorry for them since this is not the reality of this time.

Some of us went to the same schools, Henry, for elementary school. Germantown High School, Central, Girls High. Many of us attended private schools all over the city including (not limited to) Germantown Friends, Friends Central, Friends Select, Germantown Academy, Springside, Chestnut Hill Academy, Penn Charter, Cecilian Academy. None of that mattered, we were still friends.

Our families were in many cases professionals, business owners, politicians, judges, lawyers, doctors. Many have followed in those footsteps. 

In many other cases, our families were working people without titles, or college, and none of that mattered. A post office in Philadelphia is named for one of our friend’s fathers. Historic sign posts are in front of office buildings and homes owned by some of our relatives. Some in our group have achieved public success in sports, entertainment, politics, business in our own right. Some of us have 9 to 5 jobs and no public recognition at all, and we are all still friends.

One friend’s husband would ask her from time to time when meeting her friends, “What does he/she do for a living?” She would answer.... “I really don’t know. We don’t evaluate each other in that way. We are just friends!” 

Some are members of clubs, sororities and fraternities, and many have no affiliations of this kind, and we are still friends.

Some vacation regularly in Martha’s Vineyard, the Hampton’s and Oak Bluffs, while some have never been there, some have no interest in going, and barely make it to the Jersey shore, yet we are all still friends.

Some of us live all over the country and the world, but when we can many make the effort to come back for this bi-annual event held in the neighborhood at the Commodore Barry Club. Thanks to Facebook, many can log on and virtually participate if they can’t be there in person.

We are most definitely a unique group, and a large group, of really good friends.

Some people say that if you have one good friend in life, you are truly blessed.

Our blessings are too numerous to count.

Hansberry Plant Sale and Flea Market

The Hansberry Garden and Nature Center, 5150 Wayne Avenue, will be holding a combination Plant Sale and Flea Market on Saturday, June 12, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Many varieties of award-winning perennials, annuals, and vegetable plants, will be available for purchase at low prices. Healthy, sturdy plants that do well in the local climate have been selected. HGNC’s flower beds include many of the plants for sale, providing consumers with the opportunity to view prospective purchases. Janice Schulte, an HGNC member and licensed horticulturist, will be available for consultation.  Questions about plant selection and cultivation can be answered for planning a more rewarding garden.

Flea Market attendees will also be able to enjoy baked goods and wonderfully grilled food at our shaded Garden Café, while they peruse a great collection of vendor booths. A collector’s paradise, the HGNC Flea Market is a “don’t miss” market stop, with a great selection of books, antiques, and new and used merchandise for sale. The proceeds of both the Plant Sale and the Flea Market will go towards 44 new garden beds that were recently built and future garden additions, such as a large central herb garden.

There is a $15 fee for all vendors. For more information on setting up your own table, contact Dorothy Hannibal at 215-438-9190.

Register Now for Tire Roundup Program

The Streets Department is proud to announce the return of the Tire Round-Up Program. The six-week program will take place on the following Saturdays: July 17, 24 and 31; August 7, 14, and 21. The hours of operations will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Only registered block captains, organized community/ civic organizations, town watch organizations, and partnership recycling groups who are registered for the Tire Round-Up Program and received an ID number are eligible for participation.

Piles of tires pose both a fire and health risk, as they are highly combustible and provide breeding grounds for rodents and mosquitoes. 

To participate in the program, residents may call the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee at 215-685-3981. The deadline for participants to register is Friday, June 25. Registered participants are offered a “tire bounty” of $.50 for each illegally discarded tire they collect and drop at one of the designated sites around the city. The tire drop-off limit will be 1,000 tires per group. Reimbursement is limited to up to $500 per registered participant. The first 10 registered participants to drop off tires at each site will receive a Tire Round-Up t-shirt.

Tires from auto repair shops, mechanic shops, car dealers and private storage lots are required to be disposed of by the merchant, for a fee. These tires will not be accepted at the drop-off sites. For more information regarding the Tire Round-Up Program or any other Streets Department-related issue, please contact the Customer Affairs Unit at 215-686-5560.  For all City services, please call 3-1-1.

Each year, on “Family Day,” the priests and brothers from the order founded by St. Vincent de Paul celebrate the day they officially became Vincentian priests and brothers. This celebratory day is shared with family and friends. Twenty Vincentian priests and brothers gathered on May 23 to celebrate significant ordination and good faith jubilee anniversaries at the Miraculous Medal Shrine, 500 West Chelten Avenue, since 1927.  These 20 followers of St. Vincent de Paul share a combined total of 1,020 years of priesthood and brotherhood.  Among those marking the day were (above, left to right) Fr. Michael Carroll, C.M., Provincial of the Eastern Province; Fr. John Carven, C.M.; Fr. Thomas Mallaghan, C.M.; Fr. Joseph Daly, C.M.; Fr. Thomas Trzecieski, C.M.; and Fr. Carl Pieber, C.M., executive director of the Miraculous Medal Shrine.

Rev. Schaef is Guest Preacher at FUMCOG

The  Reverend Finley Schaef will be the guest preacher on June 13 at the First  United Methodist Church of  Germantown (FUMCOG).   Rev. Schaef  was born and raised in Germantown, attended Central High School and went into the ministry from FUMCOG.  He is one of 23 members who have gone into the ministry from the Church since 1955.  Current Senior Pastor  Michele Wright Bartlow also entered the ministry from the Church.

Rev. Schaef, now retired, served four Churches in New York City: Astoria and St. Albans Queens, Greenwich Village, and for 25 years at Park Slope in Brooklyn where he provided a progressive and social justice committed leadership.

Educated at Yale University and Union Theological Seminary he was trained in counseling at the Psychosynthesis Institute. He was trained in community organizing at Saul Alinski’s  Industrial Areas Foundation.  As an outcome of the Alinski training Schaef co-founded the Brooklyn Ecumenical Cooperatives, a coalition of 45 churches for leadership and community development. 

Rev. Schaef  was socially active and had broad participation in the civil rights and anti-war movement.  He participated in Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrations and was spokesman  for the “Pastors for Peace” convoy to Nicaragua in 1988.   In 1986 while in New York to attend the United Nations, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega spoke at the Park Slope Church.

The Park Slope United Methodist Church with the leadership of Rev. Schaef, was dedicated to and active in the struggle against all forms of oppression based on race, gender, sexual orientation and social class.  A sign outside the Park Slope Church describes the congregation as being a place where”Black and white, straight and gay, old and young, rich and poor unite as a loving community in covenant with God.” In an interview with the New York Times, a feature article by the religion editor on the occasion of Pastor Schaef’s retirement  quoted him as saying “very very few other institutions have communities, we can take risks because we have each other.”

Now residing in Saugerties, NY,  he continues his work for justice.  He is currently President of the North American Coalition for Christianity and Ecology.  He also publishes a blog.

Worship at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown is at 11 a.m.  The Church is at 6001 Germantown Avenue.

Local Author to Launch Book

Local author Durrelle Gardner will launch his new book The Gospel Revealed/God’s Plain Truth on Saturday, June 19, 2-4 p.m. at CLC Book Center, 7700 Mermaid Lane, Market Square, Chestnut Hill. The book aims to help readers understand and apply biblical principles to everyday situations.

Chapter one of this publication can be viewed at For information e-mail to

Jewish Dialogue Group Benefit

Jewish Dialogue Group, a grassroots organization in Philadelphia, will hold a Chana Rothman Benefit Concert on June 10, 7:30-10 p.m., at InFusion Coffee and Tea, 7133 Germantown Avenue. An $18-plus donation is suggested. Please come and enjoy amazing spirit-raising, soul-calming, bilingual English/ Hebrew music with folk, worldbeat, reggae, and hip hop influences;  eat delicious desserts; and support the Jewish Dialogue Group’s efforts to foster constructive dialogue within Jewish communities across North America and around the world about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Learn how you can get involved. For information e-mail to or call 215-266-1218.

Mt. Zion Concert

The J. Quinton Jackson Memorial Scholarship Committee of Mount Zion Baptist Church of Germantown will present “An Evening of Jazz” with the Jordan Williams Trio on Saturday, June 26 at Center In The Park 5818 Germantown Avenue, from 7-10 p.m. Proceeds from the $20 donation will benefit the scholarships awarded by the  J. Quinton Jackson Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more Information call Robert Taylor 215-247-1478.

Mt. Tabor

The Mt. Tabor Baptist Church Women’s Ministry will be celebrating their annual Women’s Day on Sunday, June 13, during the 10:30 am worship service. 

The Reverend Juanita Hall-Walters, pastor of the Allen AME Church in Oxford, PA will be our guest preacher.  The colors of the day are white and gold but it is not necessary to wear them to attend. 

All are invited.  The church is located at 110 West Rittenhouse Street.

For information call 215-844-2756.

Novelist at Big Blue Marble

On Saturday, June 12, the Philly-based crime writer Tim Sheard returns to his old neighborhood to sign his fourth novel, Slim to None. All his mysteries are set in James Madison Medical Center, a fictional hospital on the Germantown/Mt. Airy border.

Sheard, who raised his family while living and working in Germantown, captures the heart and soul of hospital workers as they unite to bring a killer to justice and to preserve their jobs. His unlikely hero, Lenny Moss, is a janitor and union steward who has the trust of everyone in the hospital. So when a co-worker is wrongfully accused of murder, it’s no surprise that he is asked to investigate.

Although the author moved to Brooklyn, he can’t get Philadelphia out of his blood, and so continues to write stories set in this fair city. He will read and discuss his latest novel at Big Blue Marble Book Store, 551 Carpenter Lane, on Saturday, June 12, 3-5 pm. For information contact the author at

Poet-ify Returns

“Poet-ify: Poetry to Edify” returns Sunday, June 20, 3:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Germantown Church of the Brethren Fellowship Hall, 6601 Germantown Avenue.

Normally we skip Father’s Day and have Poet-ify later in the month of June but this time, “It’s A Man Thang!”

The featured poets will be Herman Lee and Elijah Pringle. Join them and organizer RuNett Nia Ebo as we share our God-given talents and salute men. Come share your poetry during open mic. Bring your husband, father, brother, son, favorite uncle or some other significant man in your life. Come hear the MTM Band. There will be song, mime, praise dancing, comedy and a few surprises. This is a family-friendly atmosphere, so there’s no cussing allowed. Refreshments will be served.

Tickets are $10, $12 at the door, seniors 60+ and students ages 6-13 $6. For information call RuNett Nia Ebo at 215-495-8679 or e-mail

Native American Life at Stenton

On Saturday, June 12, 1-4 p.m., Stenton will present Native American Day.  Come and experience life through the eyes of Pennsylvania’s Lenni Lenape, who were among the first Native Americans to come in contact with the Europeans in the early 1600’s. Learn about Lenape family life through demonstrations like fire making, as well as hands on activities such as making cordage, Native American games, clothing and more.  This activity is free but reservations are greatly appreciated. Call 215-329-7312 to reserve your space or email Stenton at

Stenton, which has been described as “the most authentic of all Philadelphia’s historic houses,” was built by James Logan, William Penn’s Secretary, between 1723 and 1730.  It is located at 4601 North 18th Street (the corner of 18th and Windrim Avenue), four blocks east of Wayne Junction.  The house is open for tours Tuesday through Saturday, from 1-4 p.m., April 1 through December 23, and by appointment throughout the year.  For  information or directions, phone 215-329-7312 or visit

This program is sponsored by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which has administered Stenton as a historic house museum since 1899.

NW Sites Celebrate Juneteenth

Come join Historic Germantown, Freedom’s Backyard, for a day of programs on Saturday, June 19, celebrating the 145th anniversary of Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration commemorating passage and ratification of the 13th Amendment and the ending of slavery in the United States.

The outdoor festival will be held along the 6300 block of Germantown Ave and will include activities for the whole family, designed to bring history to life for all to enjoy.  The Johnson House, located at 6306 Germantown Ave., will host a performance at 11 a.m. by “Harriet Tubman” in which she will tell her story of helping African Americans to seek their freedom.

Other activities along the block will include SoZo’s Market Place, face painting, story hour, screening of the documentary film ‘My Slave Sister Myself’ at 1 and 3 p.m., and exhibits on art, slave memorabilia, and vintage beauty/barber equipment. The exhibits will be hosted by Color Book Gallery, Lucien Crump Gallery, A&D Hair Salon and other local businesses.

In addition, the historic Meetinghouse at 6133 Germantown Ave., operated by the Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust, will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., showing the table on which the first written protest against slavery was signed.   Other historic sites along the avenue will be open for special tours, including Cliveden of the National Trust from noon-4 p.m. and the Concord School House and Upper Burial Ground from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call 215-844-1683 or visit

Wyck Celebrates Summer

Wyck, 6026 Germantown Avenue, celebrates the coming summer with an evening festival on  Friday,  June 11, from 5 - 7 p.m.

Wyck’s Summer Kick-Off Festival is a free community event featuring the bluegrass band Riverside (pictured), hands-on family activities, readings by participants in our Intergenerational Writers Workshop, locally grown, fresh food, Capogiro gelato made with Wyck’s antique roses, dinner available from Under the Oak Café,  tours of Wyck’s house and gardens, and more. The festival is held in conjunction with our Friday Farmers Market which features produce and eggs from Wyck’s Home Farm. Come visit our chickens and beehives, and stroll through our historic rose garden, the oldest in America in its original landscaping design.

Wyck offers a variety of programming for its community, neighbors and friends including an Outdoor Education Program for underserved Germantown students;  the Wyck Home Farm, a large chemical-free production garden; a weekly farmers market held  in conjunction with the Food Trust, where Wyck’s produce is for sale alongside produce grown and sold by a Lancaster County production farmer; and the Wyck Workshop and Lecture Series, which offers free or low-cost educational programs on traditional horticulture and sustainability methods to modern urban-dwellers. 

For more information about the Summer Festival or Wyck and its programming please call 215-848-1690 or visit

Back to the Germantown Newspapers Home Page


Eagles Fly to Wister Elementary School

Excitement was high at Wister School on Thursday afternoon, June 3, as individuals who were considerably larger than those usually to be seen there filed into the playground.

The entire Philadelphia Eagles football team – players, coaches, and staff – came to Wister to help transform the school inside and out through the work of  the Eagles Youth Partnership. 

See story below.