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Kensington news: Civic meetings, parenting circles, and extreme heat guides

A painter paints a child’s face during Impact Service’s ribbon cutting ceremony on July 20, 2023. (Photo by Khysir Carter)

It’s time to say goodbye to July! Don’t worry – there’s plenty to look forward to in August.

Kensington Voice publishes weekly news updates to increase community information. There’s a monthly roundup in our print newspaper, too.

Here’s this week’s roundup below.

FREE ACTIVITIES: To browse upcoming programs at Kensington, McPherson Square, and Lillian Marrero libraries, visit

BEAT THE HEAT: Last week, Philly experienced a heat health emergency as temperatures rose. As summer continues on, here are some resources to stay cool and protect yourself in the city.

KV NEWSROOM: A reporter talks to block captains in Philly to seek solutions for organizing block captains in Kensington. Read more about their reflections here.

PARENTING CIRCLE: Esperanza Health Center is hosting a support group for caregivers. Participants can enjoy a free dinner while having a discussion around the challenges of parenting while gaining new skills, resources, and support systems. Free childcare is provided. Weekly sessions will take place from August 1-29 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at The CORE. Register here.

BLOCK PARTY: The 24th Police District will be hosting a block party on Thursday, August 3 at 10 a.m. on the 1900 block of E. Somerset Street.

COMMUNITY MEETING: The Harrowgate Civic Association will meet on Thursday, August 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Heitzman Recreation Center.

STREET PROJECT: Vision Zero Philadelphia’s mission is to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030. To address safety concerns along the Lehigh Avenue corridor, the City wants to hear what improvements residents would like to see. A public meeting will take place on Thursday, August 3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Community Center at Visitation.

COMMUNITY MEETING: The Friends of McPherson and Kensington Neighbors Association’s joint meeting has been postponed to Tuesday, August 8 at 6:00 p.m. at McPherson Square Library. The organizations will resume their regular first Tuesday schedule in September.

COMMUNITY MEETING: Somerset Neighbors for Better Living’s next meeting is Monday, August 7 at 6:30 p.m. at 2838 Tulip St. and on Zoom. Register here.

BACK TO SCHOOL: Registration is open for all Kensington Multiplex schools. Info sessions for Kensington High School, Kensington High School for Creative and Performing Arts, and Kensington Health Sciences Academy will be available at Kensington High’s auditorium located at 2051 E. Cumberland St. Sessions will be from August 7-10 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and August 14-17 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

KV LAB: Miss Awilda’s Media Learning Lab is a safe, supportive space where people of all ages can access free computers, internet, creative software, and learning support. The lab is inside Kensington Voice’s office space at 3237 Amber St., 3rd floor. It is open Monday through Friday from 10:30-2:30 p.m. Get a free membership by filling out this registration form. Questions? Email

KV YOUTH PROGRAM: The Youth Voices Program is for youth grades 6-12, located at Kensington Voice’s space at 3237 Amber St., 3rd floor. The program provides activities based on creative writing, poetry, visual storytelling, and more. The free summer program is Monday to Thursday, 1-5 p.m. To register, fill out this form. Questions? Email

PLAY CAPTAINS: Teen Play Captains is leading a summer of fun at two Kensington parks with activities such as games and relay races until August 17. Sessions at McPherson Square Park take place Monday through Thursday between 11 a.m. to noon and 2:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Sessions at Hissey Playground take place Monday through Thursday between 2:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

CLAY, PLAY, READ: The Clay Studio is leading art and literacy activities at Esperanza Health Center every Tuesday from July 18 to August 8 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free books and art kits will be provided. If interested, contact Anna at 215-302-3150 x297. Register here.

PLAY PARKS: Harrowgate Park’s Play Parks series has special activities throughout the workweek this summer. Soccer takes place Mondays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Bucket drumming takes place Tuesdays from 2p.m. to 3 p.m. Playmobile and water activities take place on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A DJ and ice cream truck are available on Fridays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

COMMUNITY CURATOR: Mural Arts’ Kensington Storefront is searching for community input on potential programs to be facilitated by the organization this fall. Three to five community curators will be selected and compensated to implement their program idea. Learn more and apply here by August 11.

VOTER REGISTRATION: You can register to vote online, by mail, or in person at the Voter Registration Office at 520 N. Columbus Blvd., 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19123. You can also call the office at 215-686-1590 to request voter registration applications by mail.

Please send any news or press releases to

Editors: Jillian Bauer-Reese, Khysir Carter / Designer: Siani Colón