Virtual Resources for Families
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Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Family Center facility will remain closed for the Fall 2020 semester. The safety of our members is our main priority and regrettably, reopening our physical facility remains unfeasible at this time. Although our facility will be closed, the Family Center will continue to provide virtual resources, benefits, and support.
Family Center staff remain available to advise and meet with students, postdocs, and campus partners via phone, email, or Zoom. See more information below.
We will miss seeing our families at the Center, but we are looking forward to connecting with all of you virtually in the Fall. Since March, we have shifted our offerings to online platforms, and have greatly enjoyed seeing familiar faces and new families join our virtual programs. We are working hard to plan a diverse array of activities for the fall, including parenting workshops, support groups, and fun activities for the whole family.
We know that pandemic parenting is hard; we are here to support you and we look forward to connecting with you virtually this semester.
This web page will be regularly updated with special resources for parents and families during the COVID-19 outbreak.
To contact staff or if you have an important resource to share please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Center staff are available to advise and meet virtually with students and postdocs.
Email email@example.com to connect with staff.
Programming and Connect
The Family Center will provide online content through our social media accounts, newsletter, and website.
To connect with the Family Center follow our accounts and sign up the newsletter.
For students and postdocs: Care.com Backup Care benefits and Care.com memberships are still available to benefits eligible students and postdocs. Visit the Care.com page for more details.
For staff and faculty: Visit HR's Wellness and Work-life page to access your Backup care benefits.
Family Center Resources
Visit our Resources page to access other resources for parents.
Visit our Social Justice and Anti-Racism Resources page to learn more about talking to kids about race and racism and find anti-racism websites and social media accounts.
Join the Parents@Penn Facebook group to connect with the Penn parenting community and share resources and support.
The University has created a website (https://coronavirus.upenn.edu) to answer many of the questions you will have about COVID-19. Should you have questions not answered by this information, please email Coronavirus@upenn.edu.
Fall 2020 Technology Grants for Graduate and Professional Students
The Office of the Provost and GAPSA are funding additional Technology Grants for graduate and professional students enrolled in Fall 2020. The purpose of this program is to offset the cost of technology required for students to make academic progress while participating remotely in academic work during the Fall 2020 semester. Deadline to apply is September 18, 2020. https://gsc.upenn.edu/online/fall-2020-technology-grants
Student Health Services
Student Health Services remains available for students in need of medical services. Visit their website for more information: https://shs.wellness.upenn.edu/
Students with medical emergencies should utilize emergency medical services and dial 911.
Campus Health, the public health section of Student Health Service, provides the entire Penn community with health education and promotion, disease surveillance and prevention.
Visit their website for more information about the coronavirus: https://campushealth.wellness.upenn.edu/coronavirus/
One call to the HELP LINE can assist you in finding personal and mental health support, 215-898-HELP.
Counseling and Psychological Services will be available to serve students. Visit the CAPS website or call 215-898-7021 and press 2 to speak to the Front Desk or you can press 1 to talk to a clinician 24/7, for more information: https://caps.wellness.upenn.edu/
Services may be performed via phone or video conference, as well as in person. If you are a current client, your counselor will communicate with you about your needs moving forward. All students are encouraged to call in advance should you wish to be seen in person at CAPS.
ISSS (International Student and Scholar Services)
For international Families who have questions about travel and visas please contact ISSS directly to schedule virtual advising. https://global.upenn.edu/isss
Student Registration and Financial Services
Student Registration and Financial Services is continuing to support students remotely throughout the remainder of the semester. The quickest way to contact the financial aid office is to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City of Philadelphia
Visit the city's COVID-19 website for more information about Philadelphia services. https://www.phila.gov/programs/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/
COVID-19 Text Alerts: Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.
School District of Philadelphia
The School District's coronavirus information web page for families: https://www.philasd.org/coronavirus/
Local Government Resources
State of Pennsylvania
Visit PA.gov's COVID-19 page for statewide alerts and notices. https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
Visit the Delaware County Coronavirus web page for updates on closures and restrictions. https://www.delcopa.gov/ich/resources/coronavirus.html
State of New Jersey
Local School Districts
- Abington School District
- Camden County City School District
- Cheltenham School District
- Colonial School District
- Delaware County Public Schools
- Haverford Township School District
- Jenkintown School District
- Lower Merion School District
- Springfield School District
- Upper Merion School District
Individuals in Pennsylvania who lost a job or have reduced hours due to coronavirus may be eligible for food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid, cash assistance, or assistance with utilities. Visit https://clsphila.org/public-benefits/benefits-coronavirus/ for more information.
Philadelphia Department of Public Health
For folks who are pregnant or caring for an infant or toddler. Check out this list of resources and free supplies available to you and your family during COVID-19.
Free meal services in Philadelphia
The School District and City of Philadelphia is providing grab-and-go meals for all Philadelphia students while our schools are closed. Details, including the list of sites, are available here.
The City of Philadelphia is providing free food for any resident impacted by COVID-19. Details and locations are available here.
Community Resource Connects
Find community services to support your family, such as help with food, utilities, transportation and more. https://communityresourceconnects.org/
Assistance for Philadelphia Renters and Homeowners
There are resources available to help Philadelphia renters and homeowners facing housing issues during the pandemic. For more information, visit: www.phila.gov/2020-03-20-help-with-housing-during-covid-19/
President Trump has also announced his intention to sign an order suspending all foreclosures and evictions in the United States until May.
Banking and Credit
Some banks and credit card companies are waiting fees on missed credit card payments or waiving early withdrawal penalties for those who are out of work and need access to money. Visit official websites for more details
Wifi, data and internet.
Comcast is offering unlimited data for customers, and making its wifi hotspots free for everyone. Customers can sign up for the service by visiting www.internetessentials.com or call 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
Numerous Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have signed an FCC Agreement stating that from March 13 until May 12, 2020, companies will not terminate service for customers, will waive late fees, and will open access to public WiFi hotspots.
Many ISPs are making additional accommodations to assist customers. Offerings may change, so please check with your provider(s) for current promotions and be sure to check their eligibility requirements, terms, and conditions.
Customers experiencing challenges in paying their bills or who have a disconnect notice can contact PECO at 1-800-494-4000. PECO is also working to help customers determine if they are eligible for assistance programs.
Effective March 13, 2020, PECO is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges through at least May 1, 2020.
Philadelphia Water Department
Effective, March 16, PWD and the Water Revenue Bureau will work together to restore water service to all delinquent residential and commercial customers through Friday, May 15, 2020, and the restoration fee will be waived. Residential customers who have been shut off for meter non-compliance will also have their water service restored until May 15, 2020. Read more.
Philadelphia Gas Works
Effective March 13, PGW is suspending non-payment terminations until May 1, 2020. PGW also plans to waive new late payment charges. Read more.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services offers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to help low-income households get more food. Applications can be submitted online or filed in person at your county assistance office. For additional information and resources, visit the Department of Human Services website.
If you or someone you know is experiencing food insecurity, you can call the WHY Hunger Hotline at 1-800-5-HUNGRY or visit http://www.auntbertha.com.
The City of Philadelphia and partners are providing free food for households and students at sites throughout the city.
- Montgomery County
Visit MontCo Anti-Hunger Network for latest information on food pantries in Montgomery County.
As of March 18, the following food banks were still operating. Many have adjusted or limited hours. Please call in advance. Many food pantries and banks are also accepting volunteers and donations.
3616 South Galloway Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
- Food Bank of South Jersey
1501 John Tipton Blvd.
Pennsauken, NJ 08110
- Share Food Program
2901 W. Hunting Park Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19129
- Mary's Cupboard
100 Levittown Parkway
Levittown, PA 19054
- Manna on Main Street
606 E. Main Street
Lansdale, PA 19446
- Narberth Community Food Bank
201 Sabine Avenue, 2nd Floor
Narberth, PA 19072
- St. Mark's United Methodist Church Food Pantry
220 S. Sproul Rd.
Broomall, PA 19008
- Chester County Food Bank
650 Pennsylvania Drive
Exton, PA 19341
Public Citizens for Children and Youth
COVID Toolkit for supporting children and virtual arts resources for kids. https://www.pccy.org/
Scholastic Learn At Home
Visit the Scholastic Learn at Home website to access free online learning materials for children. This program includes day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.
Free engaging and educational activities for kids. Visit PBS kids website for information.
National Geographic Kids
Free educational activities, games, and videos for kids. https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/
Educational activities, free ebooks, and games. https://www.funbrain.com/
Math education and activities for school aged children. https://www.coolmath.com/
Skype a Scientist
A limited opportunity for families to skype scientists from various fields for educational discussions. https://www.skypeascientist.com/for-families.html
Free Library of Philadelphia
Although the Free Library locations are closed to the public, they are offering online story times and virtual activities https://libwww.freelibrary.org/blog/post/4116