Southwest Philly block reopens as play street one year after shooting

For the last 60 years, Philadelphia has run its PlayStreets program, which functions both as a city-run summer camp and a free meal distribution program for families. This year, about 260 city streets will be blocked off from traffic and local block captains will distribute meals, backpacks, toys, and games for kids to play with in the street.

For Renell Powell, a retired grandma of four and assistant block captain, last summer’s COVID doldrums proved to be the perfect time to bring a PlayStreet to the 200 block of Alden St. in Southwest Philly.

“I noticed it wasn’t that many places in the area doing it,” Powell said. “I’m retired, and my grandson said, ‘Grandma, why don’t we just try a PlayStreet, give out the lunches?’ I said, ‘OK.’” | From WHYY (Read more.)

Community and Family

Pennsylvania ended awards for child care workers with higher degrees

For years, around 9,000 Pennsylvania child care workers received money from the state in recognition that they’d earned additional credentials. The award — the median amount was $1,500 — was a bonus of sorts, meant to keep qualified early childhood workers in a field marked by low pay and high turnover. But during the pandemic, the “education and retention awards” disappeared when the state reallocated the funds to give $600 relief payments to a much larger pool of child care workers. | From Chalkbeat Philadelphia (Read more.)