At the Party for the Parks, held at Galdo’s (20th and Moyamensing) on December 6th, Steven Harris was recognized as the Friends of Malcolm X Memorial Park 2007 Volunteer of the Year. Steven Harris has been the secretary of the group for the last five years and also organized the Malcolm X Park Family Fun Day this summer. Congratulations Steve!
Archive for Friend of the Month
There’s one person who spends more time in Malcolm X Park than anyone else: Alan Keith Green. Walk through the park on a spring or summer morning, and you’ll probably see him. Sweeping, washing down the benches, picking up litter, he’ll more than likely look up from whatever he’s doing, nod a greeting, and give you a smile. Al, as his friends call him (and there are many), has been a Seasonal Maintenance Attendant employed by the Parks and Recreation Department for the last seven years, all of them spent in Malcolm X Park. The job of cleaning up a city park can be a thankless task, and this park produces a superhuman volume of trash, but Al dispatches his official duties with studied efficiency and a sunny disposition. It’s his unofficial acts that set him apart. Maintaining a lost-and-found, taking a special interest in ensuring that the children’s play area is clean first, and offering respect and assistance to the park’s occasional homeless residents, his everyday acts of generosity deserve extraordinary recognition.
Headquartered at 422 S. 52nd St., but sprawling across several buildings and including one formerly-vacant lot, Lois’s Learning Tree has been providing after-school instruction to neighborhood children for over 20 years. On Saturday, May 12th, it will be honored as the second of only two nationally accredited after-school programs in all of Philadelphia. It’s always a little tough to evaluate accreditation operations, but the National AfterSchool Association seems to conduct a fairly intensive procedure, involving site visits by “endorsers” and questionnaire responses from nearly all staff as well as a majority of children and parents.
Lois Pharr, the eponymous owner, is a longtime member of the Friends of Malcolm X Memorial Park, and she was named Volunteer of the Year for 2006. She is also the organizer of the Gospel Fest, scheduled for August 11th, 2007. She lives on Cedar Avenue near 52nd Street.
The photo above shows the backyard of Lois’s Learning Tree with all its play equipment. Samuel B. Huey Elementary School is visible in the background. Below is the formerly-vacant lot, now used as open space for the children.Â Attention muralists: Ms. Pharr would love to see something go up on that wall!