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Kensington news: Philly Bridge & Jawn, open mic night, gardening, community cookbook & more

Here’s our Monday morning update with information about free activities, resources, programs, and more.

Sandra Brito poses with a dish for the Kensington Community Cookbook, which is now for sale at various Free Library branches in and around the neighborhood. (Photo by Zari Tarazona)

Happy Monday, neighbors. It's a light week for events, but we have some big announcements from local organizations to share with you all.

As always, if you know of an event or resource you'd like us to include in future newsletters, send it our way at


Community cookbook sales benefit McPherson Square Library

Kensington's local library branches recently published a Kensington/Fairhill/River Wards Community Cookbook, which is available to borrow (for free) and purchase on a sliding scale (between $2 and $15), with all proceeds going to McPherson Square Library. The cookbooks are available at the following branches: Cecil B. Moore, Fishtown, Kensington, Lillian Marrero, McPherson Square, Richmond and Ramonita G. de Rodriguez.

Philly Bridge & Jawn is hosting a fundraising event

Philly Bridge & Jawn is hosting a fundraising event for their "Eat, Cook, Meet, and Get Paid Kensington" program at Cantina La Martina on Feb. 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. Come by and support the local organization's effort to engage neighborhood kids and enjoy a five-course meal along with entertainment. Tickets for the fundraiser are $100 per person. Click here to register.

The Rock Ministries started new construction

The Rock Ministries recently broke ground on three additional examination rooms for their Women's Care Center on Kensington Avenue. Stay tuned for more information on its construction by following The Rock on Instagram and Facebook.

The Kensington Corridor Trust is seeking new board members

Kensington Corridor Trust is looking for new board members for their Stewardship Committee and their main board. Applicants must be at least 16 and live or have a business in the Kensington neighborhood. The term for board members is two years. To register for the Stewardship Committee, click here. To register for the main board, click here.

Our Programs

Every Monday through Friday, we host youth programming at our newsroom at Allegheny & Amber streets from 3:30 to 6 p.m. The programs are designed for students in grades 6-12, but those in that age range are welcome to bring their younger siblings, too.

Here's a peek at some of the characters one of our students designed last week:


Mural Art Mondayz (Youth Voices)
Mondays from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

Students in grades 6-12 are invited to this free workshop series, where they will develop a mural design at Kensington Voice with community artist John C. Zerbe (

Click here for more info, including registration.

Creative Writing Corner (Youth Voices)
Tuesdays from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

Students in grades 6-12 are invited to join our Creative Writing Corner with Khysir Carter, a writing workshop dedicated to building creative writing skills with peers and writing professionals.

Students can drop in at any time. However, youth participants who work with us to publish their writing in our newspaper, website, or other media will receive a gift card ranging from $75 to $150 for their work.

Click here for more info, including registration.

Youth Voices After-School Program

Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

Kids in grades 6-12 are invited to stay safe and warm with us after they get out of school. We've got arts and crafts, computer games, multimedia equipment, and more.

Activities & Events

Jan. 30

NKCDC's agriculture program is having its "Dreaming of Spring" Garden series at Esperanza Health Center, 3222 H St., from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Come by and bring your kids ages 8 and up and enjoy gardening with the family. Snacks will be provided. Click here to sign up.

Feb. 1

NKCDC is welcoming community members for a planning meeting for the Tusculum Gateway Garden at their main building, 2771 Ruth St., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come by and share your thoughts on what plants should be grown and more.

The Harrowgate Civic Association is having a general meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Heitzman Recreation Center, 3631 Amber St. Join to hear monthly updates from neighbors, Friends of Harrowgate Park, and the 24th Police District.

Feb. 2

Join the Creative Becoming community for their monthly themed open mic night at the Perch Music & Arts Studio, 2321 Emerald St., from 7 to 10 p.m. This month's theme is "Art Rooted in Love," and signups for performing are first come, first served. Tickets are donation based, so you pay what you can. Register here.

Feb. 3

Afrobeats Dance Philly is having another community dance class from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Creative Reaction Studios, 3437 D St. Come and learn new moves, or show off old ones to the sounds of afro beats with friends and community members. Entry for adults is $10 and $5 for children. Payment will be accepted via cash, Zelle, or Cash App at the door. Click here to sign up.

NKCDC is hosting one of their First-Time Homebuyer Workshops from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Join the virtual workshop to learn how you can get support and more information about owning a home. Click here to register for Saturday's workshop and future ones.

Feb. 4

Take a tour of Hive 76's makerspace during their Open House from 2 to 5 p.m. You can check out their woodshop, 3D printer, and other tools, and learn how you can become a member of the space. Click here to register.


The Norris Square Senior Center offers free daily activities for adults 60 and older 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.


Galaei has several programs coming up for Philadelphia's Black and Brown LGBTQ+ community, including a book club, transgender support group, sexual health discussions, and more. Keep up on Galaei's Instagram.

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

Free Trainings

Bloomberg Art Internship

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, is running a summer arts internship program for all high school seniors in the city. The program will begin June 19, and participants will be paid $17.53 an hour while working up to 35 hours per week. Applications for the program are due Feb. 28. To apply, or to learn more about the internship program, click here.

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.

Northstar Digital Literacy Program

Northstar is hosting a digital literacy certification program at Kensington Neighborhood Library, on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come learn basic computer skills and how to operate different digital programs to fill up that resume. For more information, call 215-685-9996 and ask for the library's Digital Resource Specialist.

Funding Opportunities

Block Beautification

As part of the Keep It Clean Philadelphia campaign, the city is offering funding to block captains through 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.

Community Award Grant Program

The Life Unites Us Community Award grant program is giving $10,000 to $25,000 to community-based organizations working in the field of harm reduction and substance use disorder and recovery services. The grant is aimed at supporting organizations that do this work and that advocate against stigmas that affect those with substance use disorders and those seeking recovery. To apply and learn more, click here.


Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction

The Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction has several job openings available, including communications specialist and graphic designer. View listings and apply here.

Esperanza Health Center

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

Gloria Casarez Elementary School

Gloria Casarez Elementary School is hiring new teachers for their kindergarten, art, ESOL, and first & fifth grade classes. If you are interested, call 215-400-7160, or stop by the school at 800 E. Ontario St., and let them know you're looking to fill one of the positions.

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.

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.



Ceiba still has openings for its Educational and First Time Home Buyers Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program. The organization also has Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) applications available for immigrants. For more information, contact Ceiba here.

Department of Health and Human Services

Every U.S. household can still order four COVID-19 rapid tests for free through the U.S. government. Click here to order tests.

Free Diapers

Need free diapers? Check out the Philadelphia Diaper Bank's free diaper locator on their website.

Fresh Choice Food Pantry

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

Homebound Services

If you're homebound or a caregiver of a homebound individual, you may be eligible for the Free Library's Homebound Services. Books and other materials can be delivered to your home and returned for free. To apply for a Homebound Services Library Card, click here.


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.


From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday, NKCDC's Kensington Empowerment Hub is open for their Record Clearing Clinic. 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.

Real Estate Tax Credit Program

The City of Philadelphia Real Estate Tax Credit Program offers eligible homeowners a one-time credit that will be added to a current or future tax bill. To be eligible, you must live in the city, be the owner and resident in your home, and your household income must be at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI). The application deadline has been extended to Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. To apply and learn more about the program, click here.

Youth Employment Project (YEP)

Temple University's Youth Employment Project (YEP) is looking to enroll out-of-school young adults ages 16 to 24 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.

Seeking Donations

Joan of Arc Food Pantry

The Saint Joan of Arc Food Pantry is in need of food donations. The food bank operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The site is located at the church on 2025 E. Atlantic St. Call 215-535-4641 to schedule a drop-off.

Volunteer Opportunities

Philly Community Wireless

Philly Community Wireless needs tech and outreach volunteers. Learn more here.

Savage Sisters

Savage Sisters, an organization that serves people recovering from substance use disorders, has an outreach program where they directly serve folks with resources and food. On Tuesdays, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., they hand out warm food and harm reduction kits, and they also do a cleanup around the area afterward. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Liddy at or 215-954-6199.

Small Things

Small Things, a local food bank, opened a "free grocery store" style food pantry at 3510 A St. in Fairhill. Operating hours are Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market is looking for volunteers.

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