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Speed Read Philadelphia Benefits Philly Kids!

Local Philly celebs compete in this fun, annual contest to raise funds to buy new books for kids in need.

Speed Read features Philly names from local media, arts, sports and politics, who speed rapidly through Dr. Seuss books in a fun and frequently funny contest, all to raise funds to buy new books for kids in need. This year’s event is Thursday evening, November 7th and it takes place at the Union League in Philadelphia. 

The top readers in 2012 were the actor David Morse, and Inquirer reporter Kristen Graham, who won the Pulitzer for her reporting on violence in Philadelphia schools. This year’s line-up includes PA State Treasurer Rob McCord as MC, and WMGK host Debbi Calton and XPN’s Kathy O’Connell as hosts.  Readers are:

  • Tim Jimenez, KYW News 
  • Kristen Graham, Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Howard Eskin, 94 WIP Sports Radio & Fox 29
  • Judith Shapiro,  The Teagle Foundation
  • Alicia Vitarelli, 6ABC News
  • John Wooten, Actor 
  • Jennaphr Frederick, Fox 29 News 
  • Jessi Teich, Singer 
  • Marilyn Russell, 95.7 BenFM
  • Glen Knapp, Philadelphia Young Playwrights


Speed Read is the annual fundraiser for First Book-Philadelphia.  Last year’s event raised funds for more than 5,000 new books for k-12 kids in Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties. For information on this year’s readers and to buy tickets, log on to the First Book Philly website.

For videos highlights of previous events, watch here.

For questions, email: