May Day, May Week, and May Month…
FunTimes Fun: Events Education, & Entertainment!
This month is alive with themes for turtles, frogs, house pets, family, rainbows, and reading.
May observes everything: this is a leap: Frog Jumping Day, Tulip Day, Blame Someone Else Day (that should be every day), Tulip Day (all on May 13), Windmill Day (May 10), World Turtle Day (slow down, May 23) and National Lucky Penny Day (also May 23; a dollar would be luckier). How about Over the Rainbow Day (Thank you, Judy Garland, May 15), or wait for it: Eat What You Want Day (pass the cheesecake!...May 11)?
But we want to focus, though, on youth educational events that are connected to the May themes of learning and literacy -- National Family Reading Month, National Family Reading Week, Reading is Fun Week, and International Museum Day. Here are both virtual and in-person (low-cost or free) activities in the area. But before venturing out, please check with the event organizers to confirm event hours and inquire about their updated COVID-19 safety protocols regarding mask-wearing and proof of vaccination.
Through June 15, 2022. Few things can stimulate a discussion like a riveting book. One Book, One Philadelphia has this down pat! Enjoy dozens of free events, discussions, and creative workshops through the Free Library of Philadelphia’s One Book, One Philadelphia. It seems like yesterday that Philly’s Lorene Cary was the first author selected (The Price of a Child chronicling pre-Civil War Philadelphia) in 2003. Now, after 20 years, the program is still a good read. One Book promotes literacy, library usage, and civic dialogue encouraging readers in the Greater Philadelphia area to unite in literacy by reading and embracing a single selected book (and companion books) annually. It’s one huge book club for the whole community!
This year’s page-turner is Pulitzer Prize-winning Quiara Alegría Hudes' memoir, My Broken Language. One Book’s promotional material offers: “In My Broken Language, her [Quiara Alegria Hudes] musical memoir of searching for her own voice while coming of age in 1980s and 1990s Philadelphia, Hudes strives to become an artist and tell the stories of her family and community. She finds herself surrounded by many languages, in many forms — written and spoken, English and Spanish, bodies and books, Western art and sacred altars — as she navigates experiences of history, migration, spirituality, and home.
The book is complemented by the youth companion titles: Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera and Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal. Along with the two sister books for younger readers, One Book, One Philadelphia offers curricula, discussion guides, and supplemental reading lists for all ages “that connect with the themes in the featured books.” Check out all of the free events: 1-833-825-5357, www.freelibrary.org
Art History Class for Preschoolers
Music to Your Ears: Community Concert Springs Up
May 14, 2022. Students in the Community Music Scholars Program at Temple Music Prep ensembles will perform live. The concert features the Philadelphia String Project, CMSP String Orchestra, Wind chamber music ensembles, and CMSP Jazz ensemble. The performance will be live, in-person, and also live-streamed on YouTube: youtube.com/templemusicprep. Free, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (Masks required for in-person attendance for everyone ages 2+), Temple Performing Arts Center, 1837 N. Broad St., 215-204-1512, [email protected]
School Art at Woodmere Is Not Just Elementary
It’s never too early to exhibit your masterpieces at a museum. The Helen Millard Children’s Gallery features the handiwork of children who attend Philadelphia-area schools. The current exhibit, Creating Community Connection Through the Arts: AIM Academy, highlights the paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures and lanterns created by first and second-grad students. The showing reflects the ways they collaborated and connected with one another this school year. Free, Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave., 215-247-0476, woodmereartmuseum.org
Get Kids’ Books or Donate
Ongoing. Black Kids Matter is serious about putting books in the hands of children. The educational initiative provides access to books and other resources to educators and programs for underserved children, from birth to age 18. Racial disparities in classrooms create educational inequity. Organizer First Book, a nonprofit, runs this campaign, ensuring that students of color in low-income communities get culturally relevant reading resources fostering learning early on. FirstBook.org
Museum of Illusions Philadelphia. Photo by J. Ryan for PHLCVB.
New Museum in Old City
May 18, 2022. Celebrate International Museum Day at the new Museum of Illusions Philadelphia in Old City Philadelphia – right on Independence Mall -- the most historic square mile in America -- near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Step into a world of illusions and explore more than 60 mind-bending installations. The visual and sensory experience combines education and entertainment. Guests are encouraged to let their imaginations run wild while learning about the mechanics behind each illusion. And take lots of photos. Designated photo spots are placed throughout the museum. Reserve tickets in advance online: $15 (kids) & $20 (adults), discounts for seniors, military and families, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 401 Market St., 267-703-2270, Moiphilly.com