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Kensington news: Veggie Mijas storytime, Safe-Hub foot skills tryouts, a creative entrepreneur accelerator program, plus jobs at Xiente and Parks & Rec

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

A throwback photo of McPherson Square Library's Tuesday Chalmers holding a chicken during one of Hart Lane Neighborhood Farm's Chicken Storytimes in October 2023. (File photo by Daisie Cardona)

Spring is almost upon us, neighbors! 

We hope you’re enjoying the warm weather and staying dry from the rain. The local organizations are all beginning to host their spring events, so make sure you leave your space on your calendar for some fun this season.

Here’s your weekly roundup. As always, if you know of an event or resource you’d like us to include in future newsletters, send it our way at

What’s happening in the neighborhood

Safe-Hub Philly Tryout Registrations

Safe-Hub Philly is holding tryouts for their Spring FootSkills FC program at Scanlon Playground on March 18th and the 20th for kids ages eight to 14 years old. The tryouts for kids ages 15 to 18 will be on March 14. Click here for middle-school-aged tryout registration and here for high-school-aged tryout registration.

Heitzman Free Chess Club

Beginning March 11, Heitzman will host 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

PAL Prom Night Donation Drive

Police Athletic League of Philadelphia is currently accepting donations of new or gently used prom gowns, formal wear and accessories for teens this prom season. The deadline for donations is March 11. Here is the information for both of their drop-off locations:

3068 Belgrade Street
Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Contact: Dawn Fambro, 215-291-9000

732 N 17th Street
Open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Contact: Officer Martinez, 215-232-2101

Heitzman Rec Spring Basketball League

This spring, Heitzman Recreation Center is having a free basketball league for all children ages seven to 14 years old. The games for the 7-10 age group will take place on Wednesdays and games for the 11 to 14 age group will be on Fridays. The evaluation period will take place on April 1o, 12, and 17. The time for the 7-10 age group will be 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the 11-14 age group evaluations will be from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. To register or for more information, contact or call 215-537-3244.

Our programs 

Youth Voices after-school program

Monday-Friday from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Every Monday through Friday, we host youth programming at our newsroom at 3237 Amber Street from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. The programs are designed for students in grades six through 12, but those in that age range are welcome to bring their younger siblings, too.We’ve got arts and crafts, computer games, multimedia equipment, and more. 

We have sponsored meals from nearby restaurants for four days out of each week:

Youth participants who are interested in creative writing, multimedia production, and visual arts can collaborate with us to publish their work to our website and receive a gift card ranging from $75 to $150 for their contributions.

Activities & Events 

March 12

This Tuesday, NKCDC is calling community members to help them build garden beds at their Garden Bed Build Day, happening from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Tusculum Gateway Garden (2711 Kensington Ave). The goal is to install eight new beds in the garden. For any questions, email Urban Agriculture Program Manager Catherine Reuther at

March 15

The National Puerto Rican Agenda is holding its annual Biennial National Convention at Taller Puertorriqueno this year this Friday, starting at 2 p.m. The event will include speeches from NPRA president Nilda Ruiz and other dignitaries, Presentations, a dinner & cocktail reception, and a standup comedy performance by Latina comic Che Guerrero. Click here to register and learn more.

McPherson Square Library has postponed its “Chicken Storytime” event from last Saturday to this Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Come hear some stories and meet the small feathered friends from Hart Lane Neighborhood Farm.

March 16

Join Veggie Mijas for its “Storytime with Veggie Mijas” at Julia De Burgos Bookstore, happening from 10 a.m. to noon. The event will feature a reading of the bilingual book “What do you need? ¿Qué necesitas?”, created and illustrated by Solena Aguilar and written by Andrea Canizares-Fernandez. The event will also include a sunflower seeding activity after the reading. To register or learn more, click here.

Safe Hub Philly is hosting its “It’s Our Block Spring Clean Up” event at Scanlon Rec Center from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Along with the clean-up itself, there will be kids’ activities, a live DJ, raffles, and more. To sign up for the clean-up, click here.

Ride Free and nopressurefoundation founder Marcel Brown is hosting their Money Mindset Workshop at 1952 E Allegheny Ave from noon to 4 p.m. Come and learn about real estate, credit building, and more from successful entrepreneurs Steve Bayonne and Dr. Jamisa McIvor-Bennet. To register for this free workshop, click here

March 17

Hive 76 is hosting their Board Game Day. Make sure to stop by and play some games with friends or family. Click here to register.


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 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.


Galaei has several programs coming up for Philly’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

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.

Energy Coordinating Agency

The Energy Coordinating Agency is offering a training program for people interested in a career in environmental remediation. This 10-week training gives you 4 industry certifications and the skills to turn abandoned or unused lots into greenspaces in your neighborhood. The training will be from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To apply, contact Tess Willams at 267-306-9551 or by email at

GRIT Program

The Philadelphia Energy Authority is running its Green Retrofit Immersive Training (GRIT) program from March 11 to July 5, on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will earn five industry certifications, a competitive weekly stipend, and gain support for future job placement. You will also be provided with a SEPTA travel wallet. Some of the requirements include residence in Philadelphia, a high school diploma or GED, and you must complete a 2-week orientation prior to the beginning of the program. Click here to register and 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

2024 Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator Program

Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance & Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’s Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program provides creative entrepreneurs with small business consulting and $2000 in critical funds. 51% of the program's funding is reserved for BIPOC entrepreneurs and those in low-income communities. They are holding an informational session on Tuesday, March 12, at 6 p.m. To Apply for the grant program and learn more, click here.

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.  

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.

Kensington Community Resilience Fund

The Scattergood Foundation’s Kensington Community Resilience Fund has reopened for 2024. All grants will provide $10,000 in general operating support, and to be eligible you must be a nonprofit organization operating in the Kensington area and have at least two years of service in the community. The deadline to apply is March 20. Click here to apply and learn more.

Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Violence Prevention Grant Program

The DA’s Office Violence Prevention Grant Program has returned and community-based addiction recovery nonprofits are encouraged to apply.  To begin the application process, contact You must be a registered 501(c)(3) to be eligible for this grant opportunity.

Mural Arts Artist Opportunities

Mural Arts Philadelphia is calling artist to apply for their latest projects: Small Walls, William and Letitia Still, and Printmaking by the People. Each project will offer artists a budget compensation for $2000 or more. The deadline for applications for all of the projects is March 17, 2024. Click here to apply and learn more.


City of Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia is hiring for multiple positions, including Correctional Officer and Research & Information Analyst. View listings and apply 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.

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 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


Xiente is hiring in multiple positions, including OST Group Leaders, Head Start Lead Teacher, and more. To apply, send your resume and cover letter to



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 now order four COVID-19 rapid tests for free through the U.S. government. Click here to order tests.

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

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. 

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.

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. 


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.

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.

Volunteer Opportunities

Free Library of Philadelphia

The Free Library of Philadelphia is looking for volunteers for their author events. Volunteers will have the duties of greeting and ticketing patrons prior to events, assisting with audio equipment, and vetting questions from audience members. To volunteer, contact

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 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., they hand out warm food and harm reduction kits, and they also do a clean up 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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