The Free Library is advancing literacy in Philadelphia in a unique and innovative way–with a fork and a spoon. Cooking and eating are educational acts and provide opportunities to learn math, science, languages, history and so much more. Using cooking as the vehicle for learning, the Culinary Literacy Center advances literacy through food and cooking around a communal table.
Opened in 2014, the Culinary Literacy Center is the first space of its kind in a public library and serves as a model for libraries worldwide. The Culinary Literacy Center is based in our kitchen classroom at Parkway Central, but we offer programming at nearly all of our neighborhood libraries. Culinary Literacy Center programs teach healthy cooking, build community, and promote civic dialogue.
Every month, we host over 30 programs throughout the city. Register for an event and you might see:
Pull up a seat at our table and see what’s cooking at the Free Library of Philadelphia!
The Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia created this toolkit to help other public libraries replicate their work and launch programs of their own.
The foundation of the Culinary Literacy Center is built on strong partnerships and collaborations with other like-minded organizations, city agencies, library, staff, and individuals. Each partnership opportunity brings our unique strengths and experience together to create a robust program for our shared constituents. Without them, we would be hard pressed to reach the achievements we have over the past year. Read more about our partners below.
The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center is grateful to the following for their generous support of our programs: