57th Annual May Fair Sat May 9

57th Annual May Fair is set for May 9

Spruce Hill’s annual May Fair this year will have even more for youngsters — a Pennsylvania farm will bring pony rides and a petting zoo.

That’s in addition to the bounce tent and 40-foot-long obstacle course that will also be at the fair, along with music, games and great food.

The 57th annual May Fair will be on Saturday, May 9, in Clark Park, at 43rd St. and Chester Ave. The hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with no rain date.

For music, we are delighted to welcome back producer Emily Bate, of All Around This World. A list of the groups performing on stage will be announced in a few weeks.

For food, we have lined up some of the top food vendors working in the city. Their trucks will be set up along Chester Ave.

In addition, there will be a used book sale and a raffle with terrific prizes from local merchants.

Vendors will be offering a wide range of arts and crafts, including many gift ideas for Mother’s Day (May 10). Other booths will have information about local groups and causes seeking public support.

            Notice to vendors: All parties who had a table in the last two years will get a sign-up sheet in the mail in the next few weeks. That form is to be returned ASAP with a check payable to SHCA. We will be limited to 75 tables (same number as last year). The fair especially welcomes arts and crafts persons from West Philadelphia, including those who may not be regulars at fairs, as well as local causes and activists. Booths are from $30 to $40, with the fair supplying the tables.

Vendor inquiries can be left at 215-349-7825.
— The May Fair Committee

SHCA Annual Meeting and Election

If you’ve been noticing all the construction cranes in the University City skyline lately, you may want to come to Spruce Hill’s annual meeting and hear Matt Bergheiser put it all in perspective.

Matt, who is executive director of the University City District (UCD), will talk about “The State of University City’s Development Boom.” Besides what you see underway, there are many more projects on the drawing boards.

SHCA will also hold its annual election and meeting with reports on activities and finances and election of officers.

The meeting will be 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Griffith Hall on the campus of University of the Sciences. (Look for the entrance off 43rd St. opposite Clark Park and just north of Woodland Ave.).

There are no contested seats in the election this year.

Monica Calkins is standing for a second term as president. Eric Santoro, chair of the Education Committee, is nominated for executive vice president. Mary Ellen McCarty and Andrew Richman, also board members, are running for secretary and treasurer, respectively. Mark Wagenveld is running for vice president (operations).

In addition, we have the following candidates for board seats:

Julie Bush
Pauline Borkon
Brett Feldman
Barry Grossbach
Ed Halligan
Laura Line
Sue MacQueen
Elaine Nelson
Jackie Waiters

Stepping down – with thanks for their service – are Andy Cole, executive vice president, Judy Powers, treasurer (to be a board member), Marie McCullough, secretary, and board member Michael Shashaty.

To be eligible to vote, members must be caught up with their annual dues.  

SHCA Annual Meeting – Tues Nov 11th at 7:30pm

All those construction cranes that are reaching into the skies over University City suggest the area is in a building boom, with still other projects in earlier stages of development but underway.

Come and find out more about what’s going on at the annual meeting of the Spruce Hill Community Association, to be held 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Matthew Bergheiser, the executive director of the University City District, will speak on the topic, “The State of University City’s Development Boom.”

Along with annual reports, elections will be held for SHCA officers and board members.

The meeting will be at Griffith Hall at the University of the Sciences (look for the entrance facing 43rd St. just north of Woodland Ave. and across from Clark Park).

All community members welcome. Please forward to your friends and neighbors!

Little Tots Halloween Parade & Party 2014

This year’s Halloween costume parade for tots will be held on Friday, Oct. 31. The parade will step off at 4:30 p.m. from the assembly area, which will be 45th Street north of Baltimore Ave. (next to Milk and Honey). All the little ghosties and goblins can start assembling there after 4 p.m.

Then the parade will follow the usual route down Larchwood to 43rd Street and over to the scarily decorated 4200 block of Osage, where residents will welcome one and all with cider and treats.

The Spruce Hill Community Association is the sponsor of the parade. We ask that all tots be accompanied by an adult and that everyone be extra careful crossing streets to get to the parade and – especially — afterward, as darkness falls.

We would like to thank in advance the Penn police, the 18th District police and the University City District for their help in keeping everybody safe.

Lea School Redesign Initiative (Mtg Tues. 9/30 at 6 p.m. in Lea Auditorium)

Dear Lea School Community
As you may have heard, there have been many changes at Lea Elementary in recent months! We have said a grateful goodbye to Principal Sonya Harrison, who guided the school through its merger with Wilson Elementary prior to her promotion to Assistant Superintendent in July. In August we welcomed a new principal, Ms. Jennifer Duffy, and we’ve been working hard as a team right up to opening day this past Monday. There are several wonderful new teachers – selected by a school community panel – who have joined our faculty. Perhaps most visibly, our main playground has received a new play structure from the former Wilson school in addition to a new water-porous play surface underneath both play structures, thanks to the Greening Lea project.
Led by Principal Duffy and the teacher leadership team, we have come together to create a mission and vision that will truly serve all the students, families, staff, and community of Lea. Our goal is not to create Lea anew but rather strengthen and build upon the important work that has been done in recent years, with the continued input and investment from the broader Lea community.
As part of this project, we plan to submit next month an application to the School District of Philadelphia’s School Redesign Initiative program, which would potentially provide us with a small planning grant and expert resources to support our developing model. Our team would work through this school year on our new vision and practices, to implement fully in the 2015-2016 school year. However, we will be moving forward with this essential work regardless of whether we ultimately receive the grant.
While we know there has been a lot of change around our school, we want to be clear that we seek to steady and sustain Lea in partnership with you, our community. We will share more information with families at our Back to School Night on Wednesday, September 17th at 5 p.m. We also invite families and community members to meet with us and share ideas about Lea, its mission and its vision on Tuesday, September 30th at 6 p.m. at the Lea auditorium on 47th and Locust. Please enter through the small play yard on Locust Street. We are excited to join you in building Lea’s future for years to come.
Principal Jennifer Duffy in partnership with the Lea School faculty and staff
Dr. Caroline Watts, Penn-Lea Partnership Coordinator
Maurice Jones, Lea Home and School Association
Amara Rockar, West Philly Coalition for Neighborhood Schools
Dr. Diane Waff, Philadelphia Writing Project

SHCA PAS Playground Collaborative

Dear neighbors,
The SHCA Education Committee is excited to announce a collaborative project with four other community organizations — the Parent Infant Center, Saint Mary’s Nursery School, University City Arts League, and the PAS Home School Association — to help raise money to repair and maintain the Penn Alexander Playground.
As is explained in more detail in the attached letter, all of our organizations recognize the importance of the PAS Playground as not only an important school resource, but as a community resource, enjoyed by many local children both during and outside school hours.  Unfortunately, however, the PAS playground is now 15 years old and in need of both immediate and long term upkeep to repair and maintain some of the aging equipment.  The School District of Philadelphia, which is responsible for upkeep, simply does not have funds available to help.  We are therefore teaming up to engage the whole community to get behind this project and help restore this great community asset.
Please take time to review the attached letter and consider making a donation to this important project.
Thanks so much for your consideration and support.
Best regards,
Eric Santoro
SHCA Education Chair


Guest Speakers at SHCA Sept Board Meeting

• Mr. Leon Robinson, Neighborhood Advisory Coordinator for the Parternship CDC, discussed programs and information they offer the community. Ms. McGeth provided information about the Promise Zone. • Ms. Bethany Fallon, spoke about Drexel’s Community Bridge program which introduces some of Drexel’s foreign students to US families.

School District Budget Crisis Letter

Letter to Governor Corbett, Mayor Nutter, Hon. Blackwell, Hon. Clarke, Senator Hughes, Senator Williams, and Representative Roebuck from Eric Santoro, SHCA Education Chair, on behalf of the SHCA Board of Directors.  Letter

Survey of Retail Preferences

In Fall 2013, the Spruce Hill Community Association Business Association Committee conducted a Survey of Retail Preferences

SHCA Education Committee Meeting with Philadelphia School District Representative Karyn Lynch

Dear Neighbors,

On Friday, February 7, 2014, the SHCA Education Committee met with Philadelphia School District Representative Karyn Lynch, who is a member of Superintendent Hite’s Executive Team.   The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Penn Alexander School kindergarten lottery and wait list, to encourage increased transparency about district based policies and enrollment statistics, and to encourage an overall more proactive partnership between the community and the School District with respect to both short term and long term Penn Alexander enrollment policies.   Because this is a matter of great importance and interest to our community, we wanted to share a summary of the discussion.  The topics were:

  • Wait list and current enrollment.
  • Enrollment Capacity
  • Future Collaboration with the Community

Download full report