Page 1

13 01 n . 2 n d s t r e e t philadelphia pa 19122 t e l 2 1 5 . 4 2 7. 3 4 6 3 i n f o @ s o u t h k e n s i n g t o n c o m m u n i t y. o r g w w w . s o u t h k e n s i n g t o n c o m m u n i t y. o r g

IN THIS ISSUE Building Connections A Recycling Matter SKCP Calendar Upcoming meetings & events NAC Elections Greening Updates Gardens for Good Voter ID Updates Back to School Resources JOIN OUR STREET TEAM! Looking for a way to get involved with your community? Appreciate all the free local programs and information available to you and want to give back?

FA L L 2 0 1 2 NOVEMBER IS FOR VOTING! November 6th:

National Election Polls open 7am-8pm *Details about local polling places on page 4

November 14th: South Kensington NAC Elections Vote at SKCP Office, 4pm-8pm *Details on page 7

VOTER ID UPDATE VOTER ID NOT NEEDED IN UPCOMING ELECTION On October 2nd, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson delayed Pennsylvania’s voter ID requirement from taking effect before the November 6th election, meaning that you do not need a photo ID to vote in this year’s election. Officials in polling places will still be asking voters to present photo ID, but if you don’t have it, you can still vote. You will most likely need an ID to vote in elections in the near future, so make sure you begin trying to get one if you do not yet have one. *For more resources on Voter ID, see page 4


Join the SKCP Street Team! Help us distribute information about community zoning meetings, events, resources and neighborhood developments to our neighbors who don’t have internet access. Interested? More info? Contact Daniel at: or (215) 427-3463


Interview with Bashar Nabil Khalil by Natania Schaumburg October 11th, 2012

Bashar Nabil Khalil looked to me Bashar Nabil Khalil (left) proudly stands next to the Paper Retriever, a product of his paper recycling initative, in the parking lot ofAl Aqsa-Islamic Society (1501 Germantown Ave)


like an average 18-year old as I approached him in the parking lot of his alma mater, Al Aqsa-Islamic Society, on a drizzly Tuesday morning this October. continued on page 4

FALL 2012

MEETINGS + EVENTS CALENDAR All meetings held at South Kensington Community Partners’ office unless otherwise indicated.



Benson Park Meeting, 6:00 pm Drueding Building 1401 N. Lawrence St. Community Zoning Meeting, 6:30 pm Agenda TBA


Halloween Happenings at La Finquita (the Little Farm) 12pm-3pm: Pumpkin Party 8pm-12am: Freaky Fundraiser


Candidate’s Night for Upcoming NAC elections, 6:30pm


Daylight Savings Ends


Monthly Community Meeting, 6:30 pm


National Election Day


Veteran’s Day


NAC Elections Vote 4pm-8pm, @ SKCP office



Monthly Community Meeting, 6:30 pm

TreePhilly Yard Tree Giveaway Advance Registration due October 19! Pickup day Saturday, October 27, 2pm - 4pm NKCDC Garden Center, Frankford & Berks Philadelphia property owners can receive up to TWO (2) FREE trees per address, to be planted on their private land. This program is for private yard trees only (front, back, and side yards), and residents are required to plant their own tree(s). *If you don’t pre-register, you can still get a tree by attending one of the giveaways as a walk-in. Walk-ins will be accepted in the second hour of the event, only at the giveaway event assigned to your zip code (this is to ensure that we will have enough trees for everyone!) For more info please visit, or contact SKCP.


FALL 2012


SKCP AWARDED $15,000 “GARDENS FOR GOOD” GRANT SKCP is a proud recipient of the third annual Gardens for Good Grant, presented by Nature’s Path Organic Foods and Organic Gardening magazine, helping non-profit organizations make an impact at a local level by bringing organic food to those who need it most. From 137 outstanding entries from other US and Canadian non-profits, SKCP rose to the top. SKCP will receive a $15,000 cash grant which will support the South Kensington Garden Association by providing materials and technical support to the neighborhood’s three main community gardens. These include: La Finquita (The Little Farm), a 25-year old garden which began the neighborhood’s first farm stand this summer; Cohocksink, which donates a portion of their produce to a local food bank; and Tillmon, which was originally created as part of a low-income housing development. In addition, a portion of the grant will be used for training and workshops for all neighborhood residents. Organic Gardening magazine will also provide technical design and production mentorship, and Nature’s Path will donate products to help fill the pantries of a local food bank. Stay tuned for information about an upcoming event to celebrate this award!


Tuesdays are usually hectic for him as a first-semester freshman at Community College of Philadelphia, but he made time to meet me in between precalculus class and his temporary job collecting voter registrations from his peers. Bashar joked that he wore his favorite T-shirt just for our interview, dark gray with white print across the front asking, “I got out of bed just for this?” But this attempt at disinterest won’t fool anyone who has spoken with Bashar or observed him for even a few minutes. Last spring, on top of his responsibilities as Al Aqsa’s Senior Class President, captain of the rowing crew, member of the basketball team, and peer tutor, Bashar started a paper recycling program on campus. As a student leader invested in the prosperity and efficiency of his school, it upset Bashar that so much paper was getting thrown out on a daily basis. “It is wasteful to throw things away when they can be recycled, and it harms our environment,” Bashar explained. (con’t on next page) FALL 2012



BUILDING CONNECTIONS (con’t from page 3) “I felt it was my responsibility to do something about the situation not only as a civilian but as a Muslim, which teaches us to take care of the earth.” He had conversations with many teachers who shared his concern, and one encouraged him to look into “Paper Retriever,” a recycling initiative sponsored by paper manufacturer AbitibiBowater.

Bashar applied to be a partner on behalf of Al Aqsa, and within a few months the program delivered a green and yellow bin, measuring 7-cubic yards in area, to the school’s parking lot. Helping to coordinate these efforts is Ekram Barakat, AlAl Aqsa secretary Ekram Barakat (left) helped Bashar Aqsa’s secretary for the past eight years, who was happy to coordinate the logistics of the school’s recycling program last spring. get involved due to her personal commitment to recycling. “Paper Retriever” partners get a small stipend – beginning rate is $5- for each ton of paper they collect. Although it’s not much, Ekram says that it helps cover the costs associated with the recycling program, such as bins for each classroom. Once the bins inside the classrooms are full, designated student volunteers empty each one into the large receptacle in the parking lot. She points out that there is room for improvement in their program, since many classrooms still don’t have their own bins. Greater than compensation, Bashar says, is the huge impact the program has on how students and the surrounding community think about recycling. Neighbors now come to Al Aqsa’s parking lot to recycle their paper from home. “When I first saw people I didn’t recognize dumping items into the receptacle, I was about to get mad,” Bashar said. “When you start something, and you think someone is mistreating it, you get defensive and want to protect it, you know?” Bashar calmed down when his father, Nabil Ibrahim Alaikum, House Manager at the Islamic Society, told him that they were just neighbors disposing of their paper recycling. Bashar thinks that encouraging non-Muslim community members to participate in Al Aqsa’s efforts goes a long way in promoting cultural and religious understanding. “There are a lot of stereotypes about Muslims from people outside of the community, and I think people are more attracted to the mosque when they see that we are trying to take care of our community by recycling.” Fellow students at Al Aqsa, Bashar’s peers and friends, were less cooperative when they first learned of his project. “Some students disrespected the ‘Retriever’ at first, and threw their trash in,” he recounted. “And it just gave my friends a little more to joke about with me. But bit by bit they came to respect it, and now I think they respect me for it too.” Bashar may only think it, but I could almost feel the respect radiating from students, administrators and teachers as we walked through Al Aqsa’s campus amidst the chaos of a normal school day. He unsuccessfully tried to dodge excited elementary school students who wanted to give him a hug or high-five, or ask him for a dollar. He played along like an older-brother, but reminded them to stay in line quietly and respect their teacher. “Bashar, come back here and read a story to my class!” a former teacher of his shouted down the hall. “I can’t right now!” Bashar yelled back, laughing. So who’s managing the recycling program now that Bashar’s gone? He’s not sure, but he knows it gets done. Just not by his sister, a 9th-grader who Bashar has yet to convince. “If I mention recycling to her, she’ll probably just make a weird face.” 4


FALL 2012

VOT E R I D & R E S O U R C ES Voter ID Resources Voters without ID should NOT be asked to vote on a provisional ballot. If this happens to you, or if you are told you can’t vote at all without photo ID, call 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683). If you are voting for the first time at your polling place, you will need ID, but it does not need to be a photo ID. If you have questions or concerns, or need transportation to get to your polling place on election day (November 6th), please call the Hotline for Voters: 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) Monday- Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m, or stop by/call the SKCP office.

NEIGHBORHOOD POLLING PLACES Cruz Recreation Center 1401 N. 6th St Hancock Recreation Center, Hancock & Master Streets Towey Recreation Center 1816 Howard Street Warehouse, 521 Cecil B. Moore Health Center #6, 301 W. Girard Ave Aqsa Islamic Society, 1501 -1511 Germantown Ave Free Birth Certificates The Department of Health is now issuing Birth Certificates for free if the reason a voter needs one is to get an ID that will be acceptable for voting. The Department is also giving refunds to voters who have already obtained their Birth Certificates and paid the $10 fee. 5

Need legal assistance or have further questions about Voter ID? The following agencies are eager to help: CEIBA, 215-634-7245 Ceiba and the Hispanic Bar Association have compiled a Resource List to assist you with all issues related to the Voter ID Law, which will likely take effect next year. Learn how to obtain documents such as photo ID, birth certificates, social security cards, passports etc. PA Voter ID Coaliton, 1-866-687-8683 Questions about the law and your rights. SeniorLaw Helpline, 1-877-727-7529 Help with legal issues and obtaining required documents for seniors. Phila’s Voter Registration office, 215-686-3469 Information on absentee and alternative ballots. The PA Voter ID Coalition needs volunteers to help with canvassing, the phone bank and other tasks being organized out of the field office at 310 W. Chelten Avenue in Philadelphia. To volunteer, please call 215-848-1283.


FALL 2012

COMPUTER LITERACY The Literacy Enrichment After-school Program (LEAP) Romanita de Rodriguez Branch of Free Public Library, 600 W. Girard Ave Free homework assistance, computer literacy training, and library skills development for students in grades 1-12. Program runs for the entire school year, September to June. Mondays and Wednesdays: 3:00pm-5:00pm Tuesdays and Thursdays: 3:00pm-6:00pm Contact Joe Warrick for more information: 215686-1768,

Free Computer + Research Classes Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street Various Dates, see schedule for October Tickets are available 30 minutes before class begins in the lobby of the library. Space is limited to 12 people per class. A Free Library card is required to receive a ticket. *Basic keyboard and mouse skills are required to take advanced classes. Questions? Call 215-686-5322.

RESEARCHING YOUR BUSINESS PLAN AT THE LIBRARY Learn to use Library resources to help build your business plan. This is a three part series: Part 1: Tuesday, October 2, 6:30 p.m. Part 2: Tuesday 9, 6:30 p.m. Part 3: Tuesday 16, 6:30 p.m.

Workplace Wednesdays Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street (Tech Lab) October 3, 10, 17, 24; 6pm-8pm Workplace Wednesdays are designed for adult job seekers and are free of charge. Topics include Skills Assessment, Career Decision Making, Resume Writing, Job Hunting Tips, Interviewing Skills, and Computer and Internet Resources for Job Seekers. For more information call 215-686-5436.

COMPUTER HELP Drop in for computer help with things like: using the keyboard and mouse, Microsoft Windows, e-mail, job hunting online, using the Internet, signing up for a social networking site, or anything else you need help with. Thursday, October 4, 10:30 - 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 30, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. RESEARCHING CANDIDATES AND ELECTIONS * Are you tired of all the political rhetoric on television? Come to this computer workshop to learn about websites and information sources that will help you make an informed choice in the 2012 Election. Thursday, October 11, 10:30 a.m. INTRODUCTION TO MICROSOFT EXCEL* Get started learning Microsoft Excel- a program that makes spreadsheets to help manage numbers and calculations. This is a two part class: Part 1: Thursday, October 18, 10:30am Part 2: Thursday, October 25, 10:30 am COMPUTER BASICS Learn how to sign up for a computer at the library, use a mouse, use Microsoft Windows and explore a website. Tuesday, October 23, 6:30 pm 6


FALL 2012

NAC ELECTIONS Learn more about S K C P ’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) The Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) plays a key role within S K C P, helping to build and maintain the connection between SKCP and community residents, property owners, and stakeholders. NAC representatives will report neighborhood needs and conditions to the SKCP office and help ensure that community members have a voice in neighborhood developments and are aware of programs and opportunities available through the Office of Housing and Community Development and elsewhere.

Te n i n d i v i d u a l s w i l l b e e l e c t e d to the committee to serve a two- year term, and up to three members of the Advisory Committee will serve on the SKCP board of directors. The Neighborhood Advisory Committee will meet monthly and participate in S KC P ’s existing committees (Greening, P l a n n i n g a n d Z o n i n g , S a f e t y, and Fundraising). Or under take new initiatives to help improve the quality of life for everyone who lives and works in our neighborhoods.



FALL 2012

A Big Thank You to the Empowering Mothers Program at Impact Services’ Earn Center! The newsletter that you are currently reading was hand-assembled and folded by hard-working women at Impact Services. The SKCP Office greatly appreciates their assistance!

To learn more about our work or to investigate employment opportunities at Impact, please contact them at: 1952 E. Allegheny Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19134 (215) 739-1600

F I N A N TA c e n t e r 13 01 n . 2 n d s t r e e t philadelphia, pa 19122

The mission of the South Kensington Community Partners (SKCP) is to connect our community to resources and opportunities, the land, and each other. We act as, and encourage others to become, engaged stewards of the neighborhood. We advocate for responsible development that builds upon the physical, social, and economic fabric of the neighborhood. SKCP’s service area is bounded by West Berks Street to the north, North Front Street to the east, North Sixth Street to the west, and West Girard Avenue to the south. The South Kensington Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC) encompasses census tracts 127, 128, 129,130, 131, 132, 141, 142, 144, 156, and 157. t e l 2 1 5 - 4 2 7- 3 4 6 3



2 1 5 - 4 2 7- 0 2 4 9


w w w . s o u t h k e n s i n g t o n c o m m u n i t y. o r g

Fall 2012 Newsletter  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you