For Release: Immediately

Contact: Communications and Development
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Hedra Packman

Philly Plays Scrabble® Kicks-Off

What’s an 8 letter word meaning fun for everyone from 9 to 90? SCRABBLE®!

On September 20, 2006 at 11:15am in the lobby of the Central branch of the Free Library, 1901 Vine Street. ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships and the Free Library of Philadelphia will launch a joint project, PHILLY PLAYS SCRABBLE®.

This October, with lead sponsorship by Verizon, 4th graders through nonagenarians, wordsmiths or novices, city-dwellers or suburbanites will have the chance to play SCRABBLE® for fun or challenge. PHILLY PLAYS SCRABBLE® seeks to showcase Philadelphia as a literate city and encourage volunteers to lead after school SCRABBLE® clubs. Philadelphia is the first city in the nation to launch such a widespread initiative.

The official kick-off will be an opportunity to glean further details about the city’s rich history of the game and to watch a few local SCRABBLE® aficionados (one 83 years old) play. Matt Hopkins, club and tournament director of the Philadelphia SCRABBLE® club, will square off against high schooler Martin Langer as their match is projected onto an exhibit screen. Brief opening remarks will be delivered by Marciene Mattleman, President of ASAP, Eliot Shelkrot, President and CEO of the Free Library, and Jim Reed, Director of external Affairs, Verizon PA.

During the month of October, all library branches will have designated hours for SCRABBLE® players who will sign up for locations and times in advance by mail, email or telephone. In November, competitive players will advance to the tournament round, to be held at Regional libraries and winners will move on to the Central branch for the grand finale, complete with prizes and fanfare.

The Free Library, with its 54 locations, serves all communities in the city from preschoolers to jobseekers to speakers of other languages. Since its inception four years ago, ASAP has facilitated 680 after school clubs. Chess, its centerpiece activity currently consists of 215 clubs and one of the first clubs was SCRABBLE®. Board games are not only fun but research shows that they improve strategic thinking skills and reasoning for those of all ages.

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09/19/2006


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850