Fairhill Readers

Our commitment to literacy as a way of serving our community is how we honor our abolitionist roots. For us, literacy is more than the ability to read and write, but the ability to open doors, to dream, to hope, to fight back against systemic oppression, and to find freedom. Spring has truly been filled with this power and joy of reading in Fairhill! 

READING FESTIVAL – Our 3rd annual Reading Festival was held in April at the grounds with over 75 families in attendance. We were joined by our partners from Tree House Books, Reach Out and Read, and the Lillian Marrero Library. Children got to read stories to friends from the Philly Goat Project, explore with the Wagner Free Institute, and make their own paper with Historic Rittenhouse Town. Local author and storyteller extraordinaire, Thembi Palmer, shared her incredibly fun “This Book May Make You Do Things”. Kids also got to play literacy games, write their own books, and dance to reading promise music from City Love. Thanks to Read by 4th, we had hundreds of brand new books and literacy resources to share with our young readers and their families. 

FAMILY WORKSHOPS – We know that family engagement is critical to educational success and love being able to share our literacy work with families. Martina has been leading workshops throughout the year and this May she was joined by Miss Pam of Baby Wordplay. Together, they shared library resources, the benefits of reading, and a variety of songs and movements that can be used to promote early literacy. We had 15 families join us in song and story, and everyone got to go home with a bag of exciting new books. 

AUTHOR VISITSAlyssa Reynoso-Morris visited Potter Thomas and Hartranft to read to the 4th graders at each school. She read her book Plátanos Are Love, a beautiful story centered around intergenerational family, food, and history. Alyssa shared her own story of becoming an author, interweaving her personal stories into her books. Then the children had an opportunity to write and draw about their favorite foods and family traditions. Some of the children shared what they wrote. Each child got to take home a copy of the book for their home library. As she left Hartranft, all the 4th graders were on the school yard and they ran to Alyssa to hug her, saying “We LOVED your book!”

Let us know if you would like to get involved in our literacy work through reading buddies, library helpers, classroom literacy assistants, book drives, or family fun days. Reach out to martina@historicfairhill.com.

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