Over her long career in education, Marciene Mattleman has been known as a tireless voice for children.
During a City Hall ceremony Wednesday honoring her half century of service to Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter said he found it was better to join her than fight her.
“Whatever Marciene is calling about, I just say ‘yes,'” Nutter said. “It will save me a half hour of discussion for which I am going to say yes anyway, so why not just say yes up front and get it over with?”
Mattleman who runs After School Activities Partnerships, known as ASAP, shared an embarrassing moment for Nutter that happened during her annual chess tournament.
“His opponent, a fourth-grade girl, said to me, ‘I tried to let him win, but it just didn’t work,'” Mattleman said.
Joe Torsella, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said he’s amazed at the hours Mattleman devotes to children, schools and literacy.
“I learned that when you are passionate about a cause and a community, the idea of business hours was a quaint distraction,” he said. “There were no nights or weekends in Marciene’s world, and, the strange thing is, none of us minded because Marciene made us believe what we were doing wasn’t work, it was something that was much more important, it was service.”
Former Mayors Wilson Goode and Ed Rendell also praised Mattleman’s service, which included founding the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy, Philadelphia Reads, and the mentoring program Philadelphia Futures.
To honor Mattleman, supporters are trying to raise a half million dollars to further ASAP’s work.