A book can
change a story.

WePAC mobilizes volunteers to reopen libraries and
provide academic mentoring in Philadelphia public schools.


Recent News

Help WePAC win $50,000 and The Wawa Foundation Hero Award

WePAC is honored to have been chosen as a finalist for The Wawa Foundation Hero Award. Please cast your vote online to help us win the $50,000 grand prize, and read our press release below! West Philadelphia literacy non-profit vies for superhero status West...

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WePACket Volunteer Newsletter, Volume 1, Issue 4, May 2017

Each month we try to keep the WePACket short and sweet. And each month we fail because we find so many worthy stories that we want to share. This month Heather introduces two summer interns and a new board member who puts extra West Philly into WePAC. We profile a...

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WePAC Helps Children Read-Read-Read, All the Way Home

PRESS RELEASE West Philadelphia Alliance for Children encourages reading at home this summer by introducing over 1,000 students to a pig named Mercy. PHILADELPHIA, May 22, 2017 – A local nonprofit is gifting books this May and early June to over a thousand third...

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WePAC’s library programs empower young readers.

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a library in every Philadelphia school, and children learned the joy of reading through exposure to story hours with librarians and books to take home and read throughout the week. Today more than 95% of Philadelphia public elementary schools lack a functioning library.

ENTER WePAC! Since 2009 WePAC has committed roughly 10,000 hours per year to reopening, staffing and operating volunteer-run libraries in Philadelphia public elementary schools, with a large and talented volunteer force providing library services and mentoring to thousands of children each week. This academic year we are running libraries in 14 schools with a related reading mentoring program in several.

IN OUR VISION, every Philadelphia child will be empowered with the literacy skills vital to the success of that child and the prosperity of our community. WePAC’s programs focus primarily on children in grades K-3, during the early and critical years of their educational careers, although we endeavor to extend programming to all students in a school, including older grades.

WePAC volunteers encourage curiosity and foster a lifelong love of reading. Our overarching goal is to bring books, reading, and libraries to low-income schoolchildren who have lost their library or who never had one.

Started in the 2003-2004 academic year as an outgrowth of an urban outreach project between Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and many civic groups, WePAC today is a wholly-independent and non-sectarian 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

What We Do

Run libraries in Philadelphia public schools

WePAC has reopened previously closed school libraries across West and Southwest Philadelphia and the East Falls/Roxborough area. This school year, we are bringing library services to nearly 5,000 students in 14 schools.

Bring thousands of books into schools

Through generous donations, we have placed tens of thousands of books in our school libraries, circulating an estimated 127,000 stories a year!

Expose children to great literature and stories

WePAC’s dedicated volunteers read aloud to children and help them select and check out books. They get to know what types of books their students like. Our volunteers bring school libraries to life!

Provide Library Buddies for individual students

In addition to operating school libraries, WePAC pairs adult mentors (Library Buddies) with individual students who benefit from extra one-on-one support during literacy instruction.

Why We Do it


Philadelphia public elementary schools lacking a functioning library


Students who will drop out of school before graduating

End of grade at which reading ability is a key predictor of dropout risk