Sunday, February 7, 2016

Archive: December, 2011

POSTED: Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 3:12 PM

Philadelphia has so many amazing free assets - plentiful public swimming pools, Fairmount Park, etc. Here's another one: free skating at city rinks. These rinks also offer free hockey programs for kids.

This is all courtesy of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Program, which took over the city's rinks during the last fiscal crisis. You do have to pay to rent skates - usually about $2. The rental skates my husband, son and I recently tried left us slipping and sliding all over the ice, though city officials say they will fix that problem once a sharpener arrives.

Those problems are minor compared to the benefits. I wouldn't be surprised if Philadelphia is the only city in the country to have free rinks.

POSTED: Monday, December 12, 2011, 10:14 AM

Dear Unnamed Private School,

Please stop making me love you. Really, I'm kind of committed to public school. It's free, and I'm really hoping to say "I Do" to public when my son gets to first grade, so private, could you, like, stop looking so hot?

The temptation is almost too much. I walked into your open house  hoping to hate you. Instead, I fell in love. It felt like you were inside my head when you talked about your math curriculum. You have language classes. Your students seemed like someone I'd want my son to grow up to be. And I never once worried about whether my child would be safe when he went to the bathroom there.

POSTED: Thursday, December 8, 2011, 11:05 AM

When PHiladelphia's Meredith Elementary got news about budget cuts, parents raised money to keep what they have. But what about schools that don't have those resources?

I love what these parents are doing but why should school funding vary so much? Have Lower Merion schools endured any cuts, for example?

My Inquirer colleague Kristen Graham tells the story here.

POSTED: Monday, December 5, 2011, 11:05 AM
The Hinchers, with daughter, Lucy.

I bet a lot of you have had the same experience as David Hincher and his wife. Read about their school-search saga below, and if you would like to share your own, please e-mail me a brief version of your story at Thanks.

And now, West Philadelphia's David Hincher:

My wife and I stumbled into the debate over Philadelphia schools by accident. As recent transplants, we had fallen in love with Philadelphia’s rich history and neighborhoods friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. Even the industrial decay and patina charmed us. We decided to put down roots and stay.

About this blog
In her 12 years at the Inquirer, Miriam Hill has written about everything from politics to gourmet chocolate (Like!) and anxious dogs (adorable trouble).

But only one topic has become a passion: the pleasures and challenges of raising a young child in the city.

Not too long after her son was born four years ago, she started hunting around for day care, which triggered her ongoing search for a good primary school. Public, private or charter? Stay in the city or move to the suburbs?

And then there are the more mundane questions, such as how many games can you play while sitting on a stoop?

Please join her in the conversation about raising children in Philadelphia and about making this city better for kids. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, but her only personal obsession is not football, but Bruce Springsteen. As he might have said, it’s hard to be a parent in the city.

You can also follow Miriam on Twitter here.

Miriam Hill
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