City opens Access Centers for virtual learning

The 31 new Access Centers give children with caregivers who work away from home a place to safely learn.

Students at the Simpson Recreation Center, which opened as an Access Center Sept. 8. Photo via Mayor’s Office of Communications

The city today opened 31 new Access Centers meant to provide K-6 students with a place for virtual learning on days they have to stay home from school without caregivers present.

The program repurposes recreation centers, Free Library branches and Philadelphia Housing Authority sites across the city to provide children with learning monitored by staff, meals and activities.

Each center has a maximum capacity of 25 students and staff to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Pre-registration is required by calling 215-709-5366 or by filling out the form on the city’s website. Priority is given to children of caregivers who need to work away from home and cannot afford supervision.

All students and staff are required to wear masks and will receive daily temperature checks on arrival. Desks are spaced 6 feet apart and the centers have designated entrances and exits. The centers are sanitized at the beginning and end of each day.

A second phase of centers will add 46 new sites to the roster when they open Sept. 21.

“We appreciate all of the Access Center partners who have rallied together to support families and children as we start an extraordinarily unusual school year,” said Cynthia Figueroa, deputy mayor for the Office of Children and Families.

Another program, PHLConnectED, provides households of students with internet service and laptops. Eligible families do not have internet access or have only mobile phone internet access. Visit the city’s site to learn more about the program.

Here are the Access Centers in Northeast Philadelphia.

Open now:

Boyle Recreation Center, 13024 Stevens Road

Holmesburg Recreation Center, 4500 Rhawn St.

Lackman Playground, 1101 Bartlett St.

Lawncrest Recreation Center, 6000 Rising Sun Ave.

Lower Mayfair Playground, 6300 Hawthorne St.

Mayfair Park, 2901 Princeton Ave.

Rhawnhurst Recreation Center, 8101 Bustleton Ave.

Simpson Recreation Center, 1010 Arrott St.

Vogt Recreation Center, 4131 Unruh Ave.

Open Sept. 21:

Bridesburg Boys & Girls Club, 2901 Bridge St.

Disston Recreation Center, 4423 Longshore Ave.

Gambrel Recreation Center, 1900 Wakeling St.

Hayes Playground Building, 9850 Roosevelt Blvd.

Jardel Recreation Center, 1400 Cottman Ave.

Max Myers Playground Rec Building, 1601 Hellerman St.

Northeast OST (Catholic Social Services), 7340 Jackson St.

Northeast Frankford Boys & Girls Club, 1709 Kinsey St.

Ramp Playground Building 1, 3300 Solly Ave.

The Salvation Army (Citadel Corps), 5830 Rising Sun Ave.

Young Achievers Learning Center Inc., 5500 Tabor Ave.