OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

I LOVE our town... Philadelphia

An Early childhood book celebrating Philadelphia

Photo of Gabrielle Wilson
7 1

Written by

There are many things

I love about Philly.

I love the Liberty Bell,

It stands for our Country’s freedom.

I love the Art Museum,

And The Rocky Statue.

I love Philly Cheese Steaks,

And Soft Pretzels-

They are YUMMY!

But more than our history,

More than our super sports teams,

More than Love Park,

Or the Mummer’s Parade,

I LOVE Philadelphia

Because it has YOU.

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

I see people everywhere enjoying this book with the children in their lives. It is informational and celebrates the things Philadelphia is known for, but also the most important part, which is the people.

Share your suggested book title

I LOVE our town... Philadelphia

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

I tried to develop a book that would be interactive and informative for both the adult and child readers. Although the adult is reading the words on the page, the child is also reading the text through the illustrations. As the adult reads and speaks, the child is developing their vocabulary (Rollins Center for Literacy, 2019). According to Fountas and Pinnell, Children learn to read by Listening to the text, Reading the text independently or with support, and by then Responding to the text (Fountas and Pinnell 2006). In the case of the 0-3 age group, they are mostly listening and responding, although they can "read" the story by looking at the pictures. I know through my own experience as a mother, my children like for me to read to them, then they repeat the words that I've read, or try to memorize the words with the help of the illustrations to give them clues. I think letting them experience the book on their own terms teaches confidence in reading and fluency.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I went on a trip to Philadelphia for business several years ago. While there, we enjoyed the cultural sights that the city has to offer. This manuscript drew on the experience I had while visiting there.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

I have crafted this manuscript to teach those not living in Philadelphia what it is known for, and for those who do, to be a mirror to reflect the culture of their city. I hope the illustrations will further reflect the diversity that comes with living in an urban area.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department


Location: City


Website URL (optional question)

Tell us more about you / your team

I am a mother of 3, currently ages 3, 4, and 5. We recently moved to Chicago from the suburbs so I could pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching. I have an Bachelor's in Fine Art from Columbus College of Art and Design. Through my studies and life experiences, I am finding I love the art and prose of children's literature, and find myself drawn to contribute to the world, and my community in this way. I have no connection to anyone at the William Penn Foundation, and have only visited Philadelphia once about 10 years ago. However, I suspect there are many similarities between the neighborhoods of Chicago and the neighborhoods of Philadelphia. I am currently student teaching on the west side of Chicago, and am familiar on a personal level with many of the difficulties families face while having to endure poverty, prejudice, and the struggle to survive while raising children in our society.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Facebook Advertisement

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists


Join the conversation:

Photo of Shondra M. Quarles

I learned some things about Philadelphia!

View all comments