In an effort to get Philadelphia parents and students excited about the upcoming school year, the Philadelphia School District is once again hosting their yearly Back to School Extravaganza. It will be held on Friday, August 3, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
There will be a couple of changes made this year. The first is its change in venue. In previous years, the extravaganza was always held at the school district administration building which is located at 440 N. Broad Street. It was held at this location because officials thought that it was more centrally located. This year it will be held at South Philadelphia High School which is located at 2101 S. Broad Street.
The benefit of this location is that although there is metered parking on Broad Street, there is also more free parking around the school. Just like the administration building, the high school is accessible through SEPTA either by way of the Broad Street Subway or bus routes C, 23, 37, and 79.
There will be workshops for parents and students, a College Pavilion, presentations, a student talent show from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., a Kids Zone with fun and educational games for students, and information tables.
The only real problem with having the function on this date is that the city’s camps that are offered through the Department of Recreation as well as other camps don’t end until August 10. Although this yearly activity is always a big hit with parents, attendance wise, it remains to be seen how many kids will show up. Perhaps next year, the school district and the city should take all of that into consideration.
Another change in this year’s venue is that the school district is partnering with several businesses to help cover the cost: Comcast, Elliot-Lewis, Philly Goes 2 College, the Graduation Coach Campaign, Hot 107.9, Praise 103.9, and WRNB 100.3.
Philly Goes 2 College is a referral center that maintains an office through Mayor Nutter’s Office of Education. It helps any Philadelphia resident who wants to go to college to navigate the process through helping them with the college application process, finding financial aid and assisting adults as well as teenagers in attending college. The center was opened in 2009 and is located in City Hall, on the ground floor, Room 115, Market Street East side. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. You can also call them at 215-686-0315.
Established in 2010, the Graduation Coach Campaign is part of Mayor Nutter’s initiative to increase the number of high school graduates to 80% by 2015 and college graduates to 36% by 2018. The program, which is part of the Philly Goes 2 College center, matches adult coaches with students who help them through school and the college application process. For more information about this program or to become a coach, please call the Graduation Coach Campaign at: 215-686-2176.