The West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC) is one of the premier nonprofits in Philadelphia providing literacy programs to young students.
WePAC first offered its services in West Philadelphia during the 2003-04 school year, when it placed six volunteers in one elementary school. It began as an outgrowth of an urban ministry project between Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and many civic groups, and today is a wholly-independent and non-sectarian 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.
WePAC programs focus on children in grades K-4, during the early and critical years of their educational careers. 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.
To improve students’ access to libraries and literacy activities, we:
- Run 12 libraries in West and Southwest Philadelphia
Since 2009, WePAC has opened 16 previously closed elementary school libraries, and is currently running 12 libraries in West and Southwest Philadelphia, providing library services in schools with more than 5,000 students.WePAC is the only nonprofit in Philadelphia systematically working to open closed school libraries. While each of Pennsylvania’s state prisons is required by law to have a librarian with a Master’s degree and a large book collection, no such requirements exist for our schools. Year after year, surveys show that for many students, the school library is the only library they visit, and principals report that many kids do not have anyone reading to them at home.
- Read stories with children and help them select and check out library books
WePAC’s dedicated volunteers read stories with children and help them select and check out books.
- Donate thousands of books to schools
Donating thousands of books to schools and circulating more than 2,500 books per month, WePAC brings school libraries to life!
- Provide classroom literacy mentors for small groups of students
In addition to opening school libraries, WePAC provides classroom literacy mentors to work with individual or small groups of students during literacy instruction.
- Run after-school newspaper clubs
WePAC runs after-school newspaper clubs so that students can enhance their writing skills while creating a newspaper for the school community