Dear WePAC Friends,

It's been a few months since you last heard from WePAC, so this newsletter is filled with exciting updates about what's been going on at our libraries! As you may know, I started here at WePAC in December, and have been awed by the warm welcome I have received from volunteers, partners, and our WePAC students. I'm excited to be a part of the WePAC family, and am looking forward to sharing WePAC's progress and activities with you over the upcoming months!

Guest Readers Visit WePAC Libraries
This past spring, WePAC has welcomed a number of exciting guests to our Library Cafe series. Read on to learn about who visited, and what we've been reading in our libraries!

First up is local author (and former WePAC volunteer!), Becky Birtha, who shared her book about having a loved one who is incarcerated, Far Apart, Close In Heart, with students at Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School. Over at Hamilton Elementary, another local author, John Butler, shared his new book, Chase Does It All, based off of his experiences with his own family here in Philly. Officers from the 16th Police District, visited both Rhoads Elementary and McMichael Elementary to read Officer Buckle & Gloria, a funny book about teamwork and safety. Over at Blankenberg Elementary and Cassidy Elementary, visitors from Santander Bank got students thinking about ways to save (and spend) money after reading My Rows and Piles of Coins and Alexander, Who Used To Be Rich Last Sunday. Nikki Maloney, author of The Peppermints series, visited Rhoads Elementary to share the latest Peppermint family adventure to the Philadelphia Zoo. And finally, before passing on her crown, former Miss Philadelphia Nia Anderson joined students at Global Leadership Academy Southwest to read about stage fright [video] in Two Boys Booed.

WePAC's Library Cafe program is an opportunity to bring guest readers into our libraries, and to share new experiences with our students. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in joining us to read at a Library Cafe, let us know! We'd love to have you!
"Because Punctuation Without Imagination Makes a Sentence, Not a Story."
National Library Week, April 8th - 14th
National Library Week is an annual celebration of the important work that libraries do for individuals each and every day. To kick off this year's celebration, WePAC's Executive Director, Anisha Sinha, spoke with Cherri Gregg at KYW Newsradio 1060 this past weekend! You can hear the segment here .

This year's National Library Week theme is "Libraries Lead" and it has WePAC thinking about the many ways in which our volunteer teams lead and guide our students. Through carefully selected read aloud books, one-on-one book selections, and engaging activities, each of our volunteers works tirelessly to spark imagination and excitement amongst over 4,500 students each year. Visit our Facebook page to see photos that show how our volunteers lead in our libraries every day. Feeling inspired? WePAC is always looking for volunteers to help sustain our efforts, so join us!
Tips & Tricks: What Are You Learning?
So many of our volunteers want to support the incredible work the teachers are doing everyday. They want concepts the students are learning in the classroom to be reflected in the library. But what volunteer has the time or the wherewithal to be aware of, let alone coordinate with, the lesson plans of up to 8 teachers a day? Luckily there is one little question they can ask the class at the beginning of library that will open up some possibilities.

“What are you learning this week?” I know what you’re thinking “I don’t knooow!” Who hasn’t gotten that response for a kid? However, our volunteer gets to play the odds a little by asking the entire class with the teacher present. The teacher may even prompt a particularly forgetful class. “ I don’t know ,” transform into “ Bugs? “Butterflies?” “Ecosystems!”

Of course what does the volunteer do after they find out what the class is learning about? Blend it into both the read aloud and talk back as much as they can! The volunteer’s heart need not sink when, for example, they find out the class is learning about insects the day they have prepared a book about planes. A simple discussion after the story comparing and contrasting what the class is learning to what the book was about is enough to get the wheels in the students’ heads turning. The 2 to 3 minutes the class spends reflecting on the story and sharing their thoughts are some of the most valuable learning time in the library. You might even be surprised by the creative connections the students make!

WePAC wants kids to love to read before they have to read to learn. We also want kids to love to learn before they have to learn to survive. Reinforcing classroom learning in the fun and safe space of the school library helps to nurture that love of reading and of learning.
WePAC is Excited to Welcome Bruce Self and Kathy Hanrahan to its
Board of Directors!
Formerly the Development Manager at the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, Kathy Hanrahan  is currently devoting time to nonprofit Boards around the city, including William Penn Foundation, Stoneleigh Foundation, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and Opera Philadelphia. During her 7.5 years with Snider Hockey, she coached youth of all ages and skill levels but focused primarily on the Girls 10 & Under travel team. Prior to Snider Hockey, she taught preschool and pre-k at Wilmington Friends School. Her primary passion is equal access to quality early childhood education and literacy. When not in Board meetings, Kathy can be found on the ice playing hockey with her husband Drew, volunteering with West Philadelphia Alliance for Children, or running around the city with her two huskies.
Bruce A. Self is a Senior Vice President and Senior Investment Advisor at Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth. Bruce earned a Bachelor of Art degree from Princeton University, with major in History. He also has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Villanova University School of Business with concentrations in Strategic Management and Marketing.

Bruce is an active volunteer for the CFA Society of Philadelphia, and has served on the board of directors for the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks. He is a member of the Leadership Philadelphia Core Class of 2018. Bruce lives with his wife, Meredith, in the Logan Square neighborhood of Philadelphia. His interests include jogging on the Schuylkill River Trail, international travel and Philadelphia sports.
Funder Spotlight: Phillies Charities
This past December, WePAC was honored to receive $10,000 in general operating support from the Phillies Charities 2017 Community Hero fund. WePAC was recognized amongst more than 40 other outstanding programs and organizations at the Phillies Charities Holiday Party in December. WePAC students even helped to design some of the centerpieces featured at the party! The funds received will be used to sustain our 13 school libraries - we can purchased much needed supplies, books, and physical materials to best support our volunteer teams. To learn more about the foundation, click here.