The Free Library of Philadelphia’s flagship literacy program continues its 2014 season with dramatic vignettes from Temple University and a debut musical performance by students from the Curtis Institute of Music.
PHILADELPHIA, February 5, 2014—While Philadelphia kicked off the 12th season of its annual One Book, One Philadelphia program on January 22, the Free Library welcomed special guest Kevin Powers, author of the 2014 featured reading selection, The Yellow Birds¸ for his first official author appearance on February 5 at the Parkway Central Library.
The evening began with opening remarks by Free Library of Philadelphia President and Director Siobhan A. Reardon, who recognized the lead sponsor of this year’s program, Walmart, in addition to primary sponsors the Field Foundation, the Lenfest Foundation, Ann and Tom Morris, and PECO. Reardon then invited Marie Field, Chair of One Book, One Philadelphia, to speak. Field emphasized how One Book connects the city and strengthens our communities through the shared act of reading.
“This year, One Book, One Philadelphia will examine the harsh reality of war and the struggles that so many of our young soldiers face upon their return home,” said Reardon. “These are powerful and important conversations that we all should be having. As such, I encourage everyone in Philadelphia to read The Yellow Birds, join in the conversation, and participate in as many of the thought-provoking One Book events as possible.”
“We are very appreciative of the longevity and strength of this great partnership between Walmart and The Free Library of Philadelphia,” said Rick Phillips, Human Resources Market Manager for Walmart. “Over the past four years, Walmart has hosted lively online discussions for the community, our associates have volunteered for the program, and our stores have featured the annual One Book selections for sale. We have also committed over $350,000 over this time period to ensure the program’s continued success.”
In addition to a special appearance by Powers, the event featured a screening of vignettes from In Conflict, a critically acclaimed drama drawn from interviews with Iraq War veterans and adapted by Temple University professor Douglas C. Wager from a book by award-winning journalist Yvonne Latty. The program concluded with a debut performance of an original musical composition inspired by The Yellow Birds, written by Alyssa Weinberg, a composition student of the Curtis Institute of Music, and performed on cello by Curtis student Tim Petrin.
Tonight’s event was just one of more than 100 engaging and educational One Book programs that will take place through March 19. Book discussions; mosaic workshops; political and historical presentations; and film screenings are just some of the wide variety of events offered in One Book, One Philadelphia’s 12th season.
Winner of the 2013 PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction and a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award, The Yellow Birds has been compared to Tim O’Brien’s classic war novel, The Things They Carried, for its powerful depiction of the truth and tragedy of war. Poet/novelist Powers vividly tells the story of a young soldier struggling to find meaning in his harrowing experiences in Iraq, while suffering profound guilt over his friend and fellow soldier’s death, as well as alienation from community and family upon his return home. According to The New York Times, “Kevin Powers has something to say, something deeply moving about the frailty of man and the brutality of war, and we should all lean closer and listen.”
Companion books for teens and children are also a part of the program. The middle-grade companion book, Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees by Deborah Ellis collects the stories of young Iraqi refugees, who describe how their lives have been forever reshaped by war in their homeland. Based on the true story of a remarkable woman, the children’s companion book is The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter. When war comes to Basra, Iraq, Alia Muhammad Baker is determined that the library’s treasure of 30,000 books will not be destroyed. With the help of her community, she ensures that this irreplaceable collection is not lost.
The One Book website at freelibrary.org/onebook is devoted to more resources, including downloadable discussion guides, recommended reading lists, event calendars, and more.
Additional One Book sponsors include Allied Barton, Stradley Ronon Stevens and Young, LLP, Dietz & Watson, and Pepper Hamilton, LLP. One Book media partners include WHYY, Philadelphia City Paper, Harmelin Media, and Keystone Outdoor.
About the Author
Kevin Powers was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, and in 2004 and 2005 he served with the U.S. Army in Mosul and Tal Afar, Iraq. After his honorable discharge, he studied English at Virginia Commonwealth University and received an M.F.A. in Poetry from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin in 2012, where he studied poetry and also completed The Yellow Birds, his first novel. In addition, his poems have appeared in The Sun, Poetry, New Orleans Review, and New York Quarterly. He is currently at work on a collection of poetry, as well as his second novel.
About One Book, One Philadelphia
Founded in 2003 by the Free Library and the Mayor’s Office, One Book motivates tens of thousands of people to read the featured selection and participate in discussions, events, workshops, classes, and more. All Free Library locations will have several hard copies of The Yellow Birds—as well as the middle-grade companion book, Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees, and children’s companion book, The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq—for customers to borrow with a Free Library card. In addition, the Free Library will have The Yellow Birds available as an ebook for download from its website. The book will also be available in audio format as a CD and as a downloadable audio file at freelibrary.org.
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The 54-location Free Library of Philadelphia system advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi; and rich special collections, including those at Parkway Central Library and at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. The combined holdings of these renowned collections—which include hundreds of thousands of rare books, manuscripts, and ephemera—inspire unique exhibitions and programs throughout the year. With more than 6 million in-person and 9 million online visits annually, the Free Library and The Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.read more
Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson hosted “Shop with a Jock”, sponsored by Walmart, for Philadelphia children in need. Each child was given $100 and the opportunity to shop with Jackson.
In the News:
Council President Clarke, Councilman Greenlee & Walmart to Distribute 500 Thanksgiving Turkeys to Seniors in Need
COUNCIL PRESIDENT CLARKE, COUNCILMAN GREENLEE & WALMART TO DISTRIBUTE 500 THANKSGIVING TURKEYS TO SENIORS IN NEED
Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Councilman At-Large Bill Greenlee and Walmart Stores will once again partner to ensure local seniors in need have a turkey to share on Thanksgiving.
Seniors receiving the turkeys have been pre-identified and will accept them at one of several supporting locations. A total of 500 turkeys will be given away. This is the 7th year of the partnership effort between Council President Clarke and Walmart Stores in Philadelphia.
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 201
Lutheran Settlement Home
1340 Frankford Ave.
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Martin Luther King Older Adult Center
2200 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
WITH ADDITIONAL $850,000 TO SUPPORT FOOD CHARITIES
IN NYC, PHILADELPHIA, NEW JERSEY
Trenton, NJ, December 17, 2013 — To help meet the growing need for food assistance, the Walmart Foundation today announced an additional $853,709 of funding for food-related charities in the New York and Philadelphia Metro markets, including all of New Jersey.
Charities receiving additional funding from the Walmart Foundation include:
|Food Bank of South Jersey, Inc.||Pennsauken, NJ||
|Somerset Medical Center Foundation||Somerville, NJ||
|Operation Homefront Inc.||Doylestown, PA||
|Lutheran Settlement House||Philadelphia||
|Broad Street Ministry||Philadelphia||
|Federation of Neighborhood Centers (Teens 4 Good)||Philadelphia||
|Klein Jewish Community Center||Philadelphia||
|Bailey House, Inc.||New York||
|Church of Holy Apostles dba Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen||New York||
|City Harvest, Inc.||New York||
|Interfaith Nutrition Network||Hempstead, NY||
|Iris House: a Center for Women Living With HIV, Inc.||New York||
|One Hundred Black Men, Inc.||New York||
|Operation Homefront Tri-State||New York||
|Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York||Latham, NY||
|Operation Homefront Tri-State||New Jersey||
The Walmart Foundation’s contribution to New York hunger-related organizations was recently announced by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, as part of its $1 million donation to New York State food banks and local charities.
According to a just-released study from The U.S. Conference of Mayors, emergency food requests in cities across the nation have increased by an average of 7 percent, and more than one in five people who need food assistance have not received it. The study probed 25 cities and their emergency food and homeless needs from September 2012 to August 2013.
According to the US Conference of Mayors report, Trenton and Philadelphia are especially hard hit and in need of support.
“We know that every day, across the country, people are struggling to put food on their tables,” said Julie Murphy, senior vice president of Walmart. “We are proud to partner with groups around the region to assist those who are hungry, just as we did last year in assisting the victims of Superstorm Sandy. Together with many hunger relief organizations, we’re working to make this holiday season a little brighter for many. But it’s important to emphasize that this effort must continue throughout the year. The need is great, and we encourage everybody to help in every way they can.”
Through the end of 2015, Walmart will donate more than 1.1 billion pounds of food from Walmart stores, distribution centers and Sam’s Club locations, valued at $1.75 billion; award $250 million in grants from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to support hunger relief organizations at the local, state and national levels; mobilize Walmart associates and customers to lend their help and expertise in the fight against hunger; and collaborate with government, food manufacturers, other foundations and corporations to better understand and fight the issue of hunger in America
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our 11,096 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.
Philadelphia Eagles DeSean Jackson shops with Umar Ransom and Elijah Freeman in Walmart’s Shop With A Jock at the Walmart store in South Philadelphia.
DeSean Jackson may be celebrating his 27th birthday this week but that has’t stopped him from giving back to the community. Jackson along with Michael Vick, Jon Dorenbos, Kurt Coleman and some other teammates took 50 kids from Youth Services Inc. on a shopping spree Tuesday at Walmart in South Philly.
Philadelphia Eagles’ wide-receiver DeSean Jackson was joined by some of his teammates Tuesday evening, as they took 50 kids on a $100 shopping spree at the Wal-Mart on South Columbus Boulevard.
Nine-year-old Umar Ransom looked at the bike rack at the South Philadelphia Wal-Mart. He knew exactly which bike to pick out. A pink-and-white Barbie bike was his choice. Not for him, but for his sister. When he needed help getting the bike off the shelf, someone familiar was there to help him: Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson
More than 350 new full-time jobs and hundreds of seasonal temporary jobs will be created with today’s announcement that Walmart will open a fulfillment center in Bethlehem to support its growing e-commerce business.
The company plans to open a facility at 2785 Commerce Center Blvd. in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII during the first quarter of 2014. It will be more than one million square feet.
Walmart will have more than five million products on its e-commerce website this holiday season, which is more than twice as many as last year. That increase, in part, led Walmart to add the Bethlehem fulfillment center, as well as an 800,000-square-foot center in Texas.
This will be Walmart’s first fulfillment center in Pennsylvania. A fulfillment center is a place where a company can receive orders then store, package and ship those ordered items directly to consumers.
The Bethlehem facility will house items including electronics, toys, apparel, fitness equipment and sporting goods.
Walmart has 49,051 employees in Pennsylvania, where it operates 110 supercenters, 24 discount stores and 23 Sam’s Clubs. The company also has seven distribution centers in the state.
Walmart also is looking at seasonal hires. In addition to full-time hires, the company said it expects could add as many as 700 temporary workers during holiday peak seasons.
Walmart will open a massive distribution center in Bethlehem to support the company’s growing e-commerce business, the world’s largest retailer announced today.
The 1.2 million-square-foot “fulfillment center,” as Walmart calls it, will employ more than 350 year-round workers, and its payroll will double with temporary workers during the busy holiday season, according to the company.
“These new jobs will be long-term, dependable jobs for the hard-working Pennsylvanians of this region,” Gov. Tom Corbett said in a press release.
Walmart’s e-commerce business – expected to be in excess of $10 billion globally this year – is rapidly expanding as the company competes for market share with online retail pioneer Amazon.com.
The south Bethlehem center, due to open in the first quarter of next year, will be located on Commerce Center Boulevard in a building that Liberty Property Trust built last year on Lehigh Valley Industrial Park VII land. It will be the largest facility of its kind for Walmart.
“We’re awfully excited,” said Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan. “To have a company like Walmart, it brings a lot of credibility to that site.”
Walmart also announced plans to open a similar, though slightly smaller facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
“The new online facilities extend Walmart’s any time, anywhere experience that lets customers shop seamlessly across online, mobile and stores,” the company said in a press release.
This holiday season customers will have access to more than five million products on Walmart.com, which is over twice as many as last year. The company says it expects that number to reach the tens of millions in the coming years.
To support this growth, Walmart is also using online fulfillment areas within its traditional distribution centers, and it ships some online orders directly from its stores.
In the past two years, Walmart.com has sped up delivery by 15 percent, while reducing overall costs by 10 percent by optimizing the way orders are shipped using Walmart’s various physical locations, according to the company.
In a press release, Joel Anderson, President & CEO Walmart.com, called Pennsylvania a “tremendous business partner… where businesses like ours can grow and succeed.”