Read by 4th, Philly’s early literacy movement, in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, is excited to announce the Philly ABCs campaign. This innovative early literacy initiative is bringing vibrant alphabet signage to playgrounds across North Philadelphia and free resources citywide.
To help families curb summer learning loss and get ready for school, Read by 4th has launched the Philly ABCs, a new campaign designed to grow awareness of alphabet knowledge.
“While the ABC song is a great learning tool, simply memorizing it doesn’t guarantee your child truly knows their letters,” said Jenny Bogoni, Executive Director of Read by 4th. “Children who enter Kindergarten with a grasp of letter names, shapes, and sounds are more likely to become strong readers.”
Fourteen Philadelphia Parks & Recreation sites in North Philadelphia are decorated with vibrant alphabet signage as part of the Philly ABCs campaign, including: Jerome Brown Playground, Joseph E. Mander Playground, Hank Gathers Recreation Center, James Allen Shuler Playground, Cecil B. Moore Recreation Center, Napa Street Playground, and Chalmers Playground.
“Your neighborhood playground is a place of learning and wonder,” said Orlando Rendon, Interim Commissioner, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. “And thanks to our partners at the Free Library and Read by 4th, we are able to transform our public spaces to spark moments of exploration that encourage our children to fall in love with learning. We’re proud to be a part of it.”
The captivating alphabet-themed artwork is hung at the eye level of children to spark curiosity and create new opportunities to engage with letters. Installations also include prompts that encourage parents and caregivers to incorporate fun alphabet games and activities into playtime at the park.
Heaping Hoagies, Legendary Love, Dazzling Drumlines, Wonderful Water Ice-the campaign has created a truly unique alphabet for Philadelphia with letters that reflect iconic people, places, and things we love in our city.
“We champion reading anywhere, anytime,” said Kelly Richards, President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Free Library of Philadelphia. “The Philly ABCs campaign presents an excellent opportunity to extend our love of literacy beyond the library walls and into our community.”
“Representation is so important. When I was little, I rarely saw characters that looked like me in books or learning materials,” said Simone Partridge, Director of Communications for Read by 4th. “It’s important that the Philly ABCs artwork reflects the diversity of our city. So all children can see themselves celebrated as readers.”
By decorating playground fences with beautiful artwork and educational prompts, this project unlocks the potential of public spaces to promote playful learning.
The installations were completed in June 2023 and will be on display through September 2023.
In addition to the alphabet installations, community partners are distributing Play Kits full of literacy resources. Free Philly ABCs posters are available for families to pick up at library branches citywide.
Caregivers can get tips for practicing the alphabet with their little ones at PhillyABCs.org.
Director of Communications
SOURCE: Read by 4th