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Kensington news: Fourth of July, free summer camps, year-round school pilot program, and Somerset Neighbors for Better Living

Here’s Kensington's weekly roundup.

Kareem Mims (right), a prevention healthcare coordinator with Prevention Point Philadelphia, administers an HIV test for Councilwoman Jamie Gauthier at Prevention Points' Love Lot on June 27, 2024 for National HIV Testing Day. (Photo by Solmaira Valerio)

Hello there, neighbors.

We want to wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July this Thursday. Need plans? Visit Philadelphia has a list of things to do and places to celebrate.

Here’s your weekly roundup.

As always, if you know of an event or resource you’d like us to include in future newsletters, email us at

News (in case you missed it)

Here are the 25 Philadelphia public schools piloting year-round school this fall

Chalkbeat Philadelphia published an article about the 25 Philadelphia schools piloting Mayor Parker’s “extended day, extended year” initiative this upcoming school year, with Webster Elementary being one of them.

Click here to read the story, and make sure to sign up for Chalkbeat's newsletter to get more news about the city’s education system.

Police release new details in Kensington shooting that critically injured officer

Metro Philadelphia provided an update on the Kensington shooting that critically injured a police officer with six years on the force.

Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel, while noting that police have been wounded across the city, said he recognizes the incident could have a “significant impact” on the rookie cops. He said commanders are “doing some different modeling with them” in response to the shooting but declined to provide specifics.

Click here to read the full story.

Monthly Community Meetings

Friends of McPherson
When: Every first Tuesday from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Where: McPherson Square Library at 601 E. Indiana Ave.

Harrowgate Civic Association 
When: Every first Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Heitzman Recreation Center at 3631 Amber St.

*There is no Harrowgate Civic meeting in July. 

Kensington Independent Civic Association (KICA)
When: Every third Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Harrowgate PAL Center at 851 E. Tioga St. 

Port Richmond Neighborhood Action (PRNA)
When: Every third Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Block Church at 2537 E. Monmouth St.

What’s happening in the neighborhood

Kensington Soccer Club Presents: Empower Kick

From July 1 to August 7, Kensington Soccer Club is hosting a free 6-week soccer-based summer program exclusively for girls ages 6 to 18. There will be lunch provided, mental health sessions, workshops and more. Click here to register and learn more.

Free Summer Youth Fitness Memberships at the CORE

The CORE at Esperanza Health Center is offering free fitness memberships for youth ages 12 to 17 from now until August 31. They’ll have access to the fitness room and the basketball gym, which is open Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Youth ages 12 to 14 must have an adult present. Call 215-716-8846 to learn more.

Activities & Events 

July 1

Somerset Neighbors for Better Living is hosting its monthly community meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom, where they will discuss zoning cases for the following properties: 2913 Kensington Ave., 2143 William St., 1813 E. Somerset St. Click here to register and join the meeting.

July 2

From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., H&H Books is hosting a conversation between authors Emily Abendroth, Irit Reinheimer, and poet Zyd Wolf. Abendroth and Reinheimer will read excerpts from their books “Push the Water” (Reinheimer) and “Sousveillance Pageant” (Abendroth), and will discuss the themes within. Click here to register and learn more.

July 3

Hive 76 is hosting another free miniature paint day at 7 p.m. Meet other mini-paint enthusiasts and enjoy their high-resolution 3D printer. Painting airbrushes and supplies will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own supplies. Click here to sign up. 

July 5

McPherson Square Library is having a dance party and water ice event from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Make sure to bring the family to enjoy some fun and frozen treats.

Weekly Events


The Norris Square Senior Center offers free daily activities for adults 60 and older on Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities include art, exercise, games, and socializing. Meals are also provided – $1.25 for breakfast and $1 for lunch.  


Heitzman Recreation Center hosts a free chess club on Mondays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for ages eight and up. No registration or prior experience is required. For more information, contact


The “Harrowgate Run Club” is hosting walking and running groups at Harrowgate Park on Tuesdays from 6:15 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Heitzman Recreation Center hosts free art classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays will consist of bracelet making, and on Thursdays, participants will be making arts & crafts. For more information, contact or call 215-537-3244.


Every Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Galaei hosts its weekly discussion group, “Code Grindr”, in person at its location. This discussion group will unpack the negative impact that hookup apps have and the stigmas they uphold surrounding race, gender identity, and the harm they cause people. 

Looking for more open mics in the neighborhood? Tina’s Tacos hosts an open mic and live band karaoke night every Wednesday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Come by and show off your vocal skills or enjoy some local talent.


NKCDC and The Health Federation of Philadelphia are partnering to host “The Diabetic Prevention Program” at Firm Hope Baptist Church on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The year-long lifestyle change program focuses on developing a healthy lifestyle and learning how to manage things like diabetes, stress, exercise, and meal prep. If you are 18 or older and are at risk or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, you qualify for the program. Enjoy light refreshments, taste tests, raffles, and more. 

Free Trainings

JEVS Project WOW

JEVS Human Services is offering its free Project WOW Certified Production Training Program to young adults ages 18 to 24 who did not complete a high school diploma. This program offers hands-on training in OSHA 10, a Production Technician Certificate, a High School Diploma through Penn Foster, and more. To register and learn more, click here.

Lifeguard Trainings

Parks & Rec has reopened its free lifeguard training for teens 16 years and older. Upon completion, you will earn free lifeguard certification, which allows you to earn a starting pay of $16 an hour. Click here to apply or learn more.

Mental Health First Aid Training

The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) offers free training for those interested in earning a Mental Health First Aid certification. The virtual training is facilitated weekly. Register here.

Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet Metal Workers Local Union No. 19 is currently accepting applications for their Philadelphia training center. Earn money while you learn a new trade, and learn from experienced professionals in the field. Click here to apply and learn more.

Funding Opportunities

Block beautification

As part of the Keep It Clean Philly campaign, the city is offering funding to block captains the PMBC Block Captain Beautification Grant to beautify their block. The grant amount can be as much as $500, and is only available to block captains registered through the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee (PMBC). Click here to apply.

Business Security

Does your business need extra security? Click here to apply for the city’s Business Security Camera Program. If your company wants additional upgrades, check out the Storefront Improvement Program.

Nonprofits can also apply for security enhancements through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.  

I Love My Librarian Award

The American Library Association is currently accepting nominations for the 2025 “I Love My Librarian” Award, which awards a librarian with $5,000 and the recognition of a lifetime. Nominations must be submitted by other people for their librarians by September 30. Click here to submit a nomination and learn more.

In Color Birding Club

From now until August, In Color Birding Club is offering school bus sponsorships for teachers and institutions taking their students to field trips in nature or other green spaces like gardens or arboretums. First priorities will be given to first-time applicants and teachers or institutions with a majority presence of BIPOC students. Click here to apply and learn more. 

Philadelphia Water Department State Grants

The Philadelphia Water Department has grants available for its Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund. Eligible homeowners can get up to $10,000 for unpaid water bills. To apply and learn more, click here.


Career Connected Learning PHL

Career Connected Learning PHL is connecting teens and young adults ages 12 to 24 with paid opportunities for the summer. Click here to learn more.

City of Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia is hiring for multiple positions. View listings and apply here.

The city is also hiring in multiple civil service jobs. Click here to apply and learn more. 

Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction

The Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction has several job openings available. View listings and apply here

Esperanza Health Center

Esperanza Health Center has several job openings available. View listings and apply here.

Kensington Health Sciences Academy (KHSA)

Kensington Health Sciences Academy (KHSA) is hiring Learning Supports for English and Math. If interested, contact Principal Nimet Eren at

New Kensington Community Development Community 

NKCDC is hiring for several full-time positions. View listings here

Pathways to Housing PA

Pathways to Housing PA is hiring for several positions, including for a truck driver/warehouse assistant at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank at 3650 I St. Find listings and apply here


PennDot is hiring new engineers, equipment operators, inspectors, and mechanics. View listings and apply here

Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW)

PGW is hiring for multiple positions including Call Center Representative, Field Service Technician, and more. Click here to apply.

Philadelphia Parks & Rec

Philadelphia Parks & Rec is currently hiring for multiple positions, including RSI Programming Specialist-Pops Playground and Seasonal Maintenance Attendant. To apply and learn more, click here.

Safe-Hub Philadelphia

Safe-Hub is hiring soccer coaches. Head coaches are paid $22 per hour while assistant and flex coaches are volunteer positions. Apply here

Taller Puertorriqueno

Taller Puertorriqueno is hiring Camp Counselors and a Recreation Teacher for its summer camp. Click here to apply.

Waste Management

Waste Management is hiring for multiple positions with an average pay of $26 per hour. Click here to apply and learn more.


Filter Philly

Filter Philly provides free air purifiers, masks, and tests to local events and organizations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne illnesses. If you’d like to be supplied with a free purifier or equipment, contact

Free Youth Lunches at the Library

McPherson Square Library is one of the city's libraries that provides free lunches to youth ages 18 and under. To get the meal times, call 215-685-9995.

Fresh Choice Food Pantry

The Community Center at Visitation’s Fresh Choice Food Pantry is open on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Additional offerings include coffee, light snacks, free vital checks, HIV testing, and Hepatitis-C testing. 


Applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program are now open. Income-eligible families could receive up to $1,000 to pay for heating bills. Apply online or by mail. 


NKCDC’s Kensington Empowerment Hub is open for its Record Clearing Clinic from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday. Clients can meet with lawyers from the Lawyers for Social Equity organization to have their cases reviewed to see if they can be cleared of any records.

Youth Employment Project (YEP)

Temple University’s Youth Employment Project (YEP) is looking to enroll out-of-school young adults ages 16 to 24 years old into their program to support them with earning their GEDs and transitioning to employment or higher education. Requirements include being a Philadelphia resident, highly determined and self-motivated, and having a basic understanding of computer skills. Click here to fill out their interest form.

Kensington Voice programs 

Youth Voices Summer Program
Mondays - Thursdays, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. 
3237 Amber Street, 3rd Floor

Our Youth Voices Summer Program begins June 24 and runs through August 16. Students in grades six through 12 are invited to join us for arts and crafts, computer games, multimedia projects, and more. 

Contact Khysir Carter at with questions. 

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