Civic and Community Engagement

PHL Youth Week opens space for gun violence conversation

This week, the Mayor’s Office of Youth Engagement has set out to gather teen input on education, public safety, entrepreneurship and health during PHL Youth Week. It’s an opportunity for gun violence prevention activists to try to elevate the voices of teens who are directly impacted by the crisis. | From: WHYY (Read more.)

Civic and Community Engagement

New digital mental health tool is now available to LGBTQ youth

When it comes to the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth, resources are not always abundant in places like schools or community centers. That’s where the free, research-based digital mental health tool imi (pronounced eye-me) comes in. Imi was created to help queer and trans youth explore and affirm their identity and engage in practical techniques that increase methods of coping with stress related to sexual orientation and gender. | From: Philadelphia Gay News (Read more.)


32 teens died from gunfire this year in Philadelphia. The city and school district are seeking a safe path for students.

With the first day of school less than two weeks away, Philadelphia officials laid out a series of steps to ensure students get to and from school safely after a summer of gun violence. Philadelphia police said 137 victims under the age of 18 have been injured from gun violence this year. Thirty-two have been homicides. | From: Chalkbeat Philadelphia (Read more.)


Masks Will Be Required for Philadelphia Public School Students in the Fall

Philadelphia public school students and staff will be required to wear face masks when they go back to in-person classes in the fall.

New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested it’s safe for fully vaccinated students and teachers to go without masks indoors. However, School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite said the district will keep its mask requirement, based on the CDC’s recommendation that students be kept at least three feet apart and that unvaccinated people keep wearing masks.

“Until that guidance changes, we will still be asking individuals to be in masks and subject to testing,” Hite said, referencing the district’s rapid COVID-19 tests, for which parents must fill out a consent form. Hite said the district will perform weekly testing for adults, as well as random tests on 20% of students every week. | From NBC10 (Read more.)


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.)