Conversations about race. On June 25, artist E.B. Lewis will emcee the final installment of the five-part “Conversations In Color” series hosted by the Free Library of Philadelphia. Lewis, a Temple University graduate and internationally acclaimed illustrator, will host a discussion in the Skyline Room at Parkway Central Library about the depiction of people of color in children’s literature over the last 50 years. The four previous events, held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Awards for excellence in African American children’s literature, were aimed at seniors. This final event is intended for all audiences. Learn more at https://libwww.freelibrary.org/blog/post/3764
Tiny dancers. The most-anticipated dance-off in Philadelphia took place on June 2 at the University of the Arts. The 12th annual “Colors of the Rainbow Team Match Grand Final"— the annual ballroom-dancing competition produced by Dancing Classrooms — included fifth-to-eighth-grade students from area public, charter, and parochial schools. Dancing Classrooms, founded in 2007, is an arts program that teaches ballroom dancing to elementary and middle school students. Twice a week, for 10 weeks in fall and spring, Dancing Classrooms instructors teach students how to do the merengue, fox-trot, rumba, tango, swing, waltz, cha-cha and stomp — “partner” dances that require fidgety kids to master teamwork. Each semester is capped off with a tournament-style dance-off. Four groups, each consisting of 12 dancers, perform before a six-judge panel. Two groups (two from the fall semester, and two from the spring semester) then compete for the grand prize. This year, the team representing Chester-Upland’s School of the Arts took home the trophy. For more information, go to www.dancingclassroomsphilly.org.
Hotel helpers. When visitors check into most hotels, they’re usually asked to provide a credit card for incidental purchases. At the Study, the University City hotel whose lobby resembles a college lounge, they’re also invited to donate a “new or gently used” book to the lending library of the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, which provides low-cost lodging to out-of-town families whose children are undergoing medical care here. In lieu of donation, guests are also invited to write a message on a bookplate sticker about “why they love to read." The stickers are then affixed to books in the RMH lending library.
Soccer returns to Chester, again. The Philadelphia Union is helping to fund the revival of Chester High School and Middle School’s soccer programs, which were both disbanded more than 30 years ago. The program, intended for 200 athletes, will include varsity and junior varsity squads for both boys and girls. Program funding — which includes contributions from the Union, Adidas, the city, and others — amounts to $500,000 per year over the next three years and then $150,000 annually. The money will help fund new practice facilities, uniforms and equipment, and coaches’ salaries. Chester’s STEM Academy will host the games, with a select few played at Talen Energy Stadium. Junior varsity games will start this fall, with varsity teams kicking off in 2020.