A book can
change a story.

WePAC mobilizes volunteers to reopen libraries and
provide academic mentoring in Philadelphia public schools.


Recent News

WePAC Appoints Heather Farber Executive Director

Organization sets sights on deepening impact on childhood literacy PHILADELPHIA, July 15, 2016 – The West Philadelphia Alliance for Children (WePAC), a nonprofit organization helping to bridge the literacy gap in Philadelphia public schoolchildren by reopening and... read more

WePAC’s library programs empower young readers.

ONCE UPON A TIME there was a library in every Philadelphia school, and children learned the joy of reading through exposure to story hours with librarians and books to take home and read throughout the week. Today more than 95% of Philadelphia public elementary schools lack a functioning library.

ENTER WePAC! Since 2009 WePAC has committed roughly 10,000 hours per year to reopening, staffing and operating volunteer-run libraries in Philadelphia public elementary schools, with a large and talented volunteer force providing library services and mentoring to thousands of children each week. In the last academic year we ran libraries in 13 schools and mentoring programs in four.

IN OUR VISION, every Philadelphia child will be empowered with the literacy skills vital to the success of that child and the prosperity of our community. WePAC’s programs focus primarily on children in grades K-3, during the early and critical years of their educational careers, although we endeavor to extend programming to all students in a school, including older grades.

WePAC volunteers encourage curiosity and foster a lifelong love of reading. Our overarching goal is to bring books, reading, and libraries to low-income schoolchildren who have lost their library or who never had one.

Started in 2003 as an outgrowth of an urban ministry project between Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church and many civic groups, WePAC today is a wholly-independent and non-sectarian 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

What We Do

Run libraries in Philadelphia public schools

WePAC has reopened previously closed school libraries across West and Southwest Philadelphia and the East Falls/Roxborough area. During the last school year, we brought library services to over 4,000 students in 13 schools.

Bring thousands of books into schools

Through generous donations, we have placed tens of thousands of books in our school libraries, circulating an estimated 127,000 stories a year!

Expose children to great literature and stories

WePAC’s dedicated volunteers read aloud to children and help them select and check out books. They get to know what types of books their students like. Our volunteers bring school libraries to life!

Provide Library Buddies for individual students

In addition to operating school libraries, WePAC pairs adult mentors (Library Buddies) with individual students who benefit from extra one-on-one support during literacy instruction.

Why We Do it


Philadelphia public elementary schools lacking a functioning library


Students who will drop out of school before graduating

End of grade at which reading ability is a key predictor of dropout risk