PHILADELPHIA – Today, the City launched phase two of its Access Centers. During this phase, 46 additional Access Centers will open, bringing the total number of sites to 77 and more than doubling the number of students who can attend virtual learning at an Access Center. Access Centers are supervised, connected spaces where students in grades K-6 can connect to their school’s virtual learning while school buildings are closed.
The first phase of 31 Access Centers opened on September 8. The second phase of Access Centers that opened today includes Parks & Recreation locations, Free Library branches, and the Office of Children and Families’ Out-of-School Time network sites. These new sites broaden the reach to more families in neighborhoods across the city.
This morning, at the Access Center run by Sunrise of Philadelphia, Inc. in Trinity Lutheran Church, students were greeted by Cynthia Figueroa, Deputy Mayor for the Office of Children and Families, and Sunrise of Philadelphia Inc.’s Deputy Executive Director Vince Litrenta.
“We’re excited to open more Access Centers today, and continue to support students and families while school buildings are closed,” said Deputy Mayor Figueroa. “Repurposing the City’s assets to create Access Centers – including our contracts with quality out-of-school time programs – means we can reach more neighborhoods and assist more families with the critical issue of childcare.”
At the Sunrise Access Center @ Trinity Lutheran Church, up to 88 children can learn in newly renovated learning spaces staffed by out-of-school time professionals from Sunrise of Philadelphia, Inc.
“Since 1999, Sunrise has provided programming for youth in South Philadelphia. We are very excited to partner with Trinity Lutheran Church and the Trinity Academy to provide Access Center programming for youth and families,” said Laura Johnson, Deputy Executive Director of Sunrise of Philadelphia. “This partnership was made possible through support from Partners for Sacred Places, the only national, non-sectarian, nonprofit organization focused on building the capacity of historic sacred places to better serve their communities as anchor institutions, nurturing transformation, and shaping vibrant, creative communities.”
With 77 locations opening in phase two, Access Centers will have the capacity to serve 2,181 students in grades K-6 while school buildings are closed. Pre-registration for Access Centers is required and limited seats are still available for families. Priority is given to children of caregivers who need to work outside the home and cannot provide or afford supervision.
Families can visit phila.gov/accesscenters to view all the sites and find eligibility information. Eligible families can fill out the online interest form to start the registration process. Those who need help filling out the form can call (215) 709-5366, Monday–Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Space is limited and filling out the interest form is the first step for registration, but does not guarantee placement in an Access Center.