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COVID Newsletters

Manhattan weekly newsletter (4/27)


Below is a round-up of events and announcements for Manhattan this week. Check your inbox Thursday for more COVID updates. (If you’re not yet subscribed, sign up here.)



K-8 applications are now open for Summer Rising, the City’s new, free academic and enrichment summer program that creates a bridge back to school. Summer Rising combines academic classes, field trips, arts activities, and outdoor recreation. Programs will be run by local school leaders and trusted community-based organizations, and will offer breakfast, lunch, and a snack. Apply here (new locations are added weekly– check back on Mondays).

There’s no application date yet for high schoolers’ Summer Rising program, where they can make up previously failed courses, complete courses in progress, and participate in the paid Summer Youth Employment Program.

If you applied online by 1/22, you can view your child’s kindergarten offer letter now in MySchools. Accept the offer by Friday (4/30) to secure your child’s seat at that school. You can accept this offer through MySchools or the school directly. After you accept your offer, the school will work with you to register your child. Learn which documents you’ll need to provide in the registration checklist.

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant portal is now open for  companies and nonprofits that operate live-performance venues, talent/management agencies, and others for up to $10 million in relief from the Save our Stages Act in the December stimulus bill via the U.S. Small Business Administration. Applicants can get help preparing their applications from the NYC Dept. of Small Business Services’ Curtains Up program. Applicants can apply for a SVO grant even if they’ve previously received Paycheck Protection Program loans (the PPP amount will be deducted from the SVO grant).

Governors Island reopens Saturday (5/1) and the required ferry ticket reservations are now available; book here (NYCHA residents, seniors 65+, children under 13, IDNYC holders, and military service members ride free). The Island will be open through Sunday, 10/31, 10 am – 6 pm on weekdays and 10 am – 7 pm on weekends. See activities and events for all ages here.

Applications open Monday (5/3) to get $800 toward an air conditioner or fan, known as the Home Energy Assistance Program Cooling Assistance Benefit. This link explains eligibility and necessary documents for this first-come-first-served benefit.

NYCHA is launching a “Resident Roundtable,” 30 NYCHA residents who will provide feedback on aspects of the Transformation Plan, such as lease enforcement, quality of life, safety, and communication between residents and NYCHA. Members will serve for two years and attend meetings, get input from neighbors, make recommendations on NYCHA policy and programs, and help implement the Transformation Plan.

Applications are open through Monday, 5/10. There’s a virtual info session, Monday (5/3) at 6 pm. Join the Zoom here, or call 646-558-8656 and enter 81599125948#.

The new City Cleanup Corps (CCC) is currently hiring for seasonal park worker and aide positions. The Corps will hire 10,000 New Yorkers through the summer to beautify and revitalize the city’s public spaces over the next few months. Corps members will make $15/hour, funded by federal stimulus money. Modeled after the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps, the City program will remove graffiti, pressure wash sidewalks, design murals, tend to community gardens, and maintain Open Streets, particularly in the 33 neighborhoods hit hardest by the pandemic and in key areas identified by community members. 

The Taxi Medallion Owner Relief Fund offers financial support and legal guidance, giving owners of five or fewer medallions a $20,000 down payment to help restructure medallion-related loans and $9,000 in monthly debt payment assistance. To participate in this Taxi and Limousine Commission program, schedule an appointment with TLC’s Owner/Driver Resource Center.



The Fort Tryon Park Trust released a wonderful short film in celebration of the park’s 85th anniversary and how important it’s been to Northern Manhattanites during the pandemic. Watch it here (and look out for my cameos).

Enroll in free OSHA 40 training through WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Contact

Nontraditional Employment for Women is now offering free training for women who want to enroll in a career in trade, utility, or facility maintenance. The average starting wage is $19 an hour. Online info sessions are available every Monday at 6 pm and Tuesday at 10 am. Register here.

Applications are now open for workforce development nonprofit STRIVE’s Health and Office Training for careers in health care, beginning Friday, 5/14. Applicants must be a New York City resident, be 18+, and have a high school degree or equivalency. Join an info session on Mondays or Wednesdays at 10 am.

Free remote art classes are available for older adults in dance, music, theater, visual art, and writing through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s SU-CASA program. Click the link for details.

Seniors are invited to apply to Lyric Lab’s “My Favorite Song Project,” a weekly online discussion group about music, lyrics, and the powerful memories songs evoke, starting in May. Participants will receive free headphones, phone magnifiers, gift cards, art and writing supplies, and T-shirts. Apply here or call 347-785-0216 for assistance.



Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 am through 8/31, free Tai Chi classes return to Bryant Park, sponsored by the Tai Chi Chuan Center. Meet on the Fountain Terrace (near 6th Ave.).

Tuesday (4/27) at 2 pm, virtual event “Everything You Need to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines” features a nurse practitioner to answer your vaccine questions, hosted by DOROT. Click the title to register and submit questions.

Tuesday (4/27) at 5 pm, virtual panel “Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine: The Science and Regulatory Backstory” features experts in a discussion of how the Pfizer vaccine came to be, including its efficacy and FDA approval, and its rollout, including equity, hesitancy, and scams. Click the title to register for the Zoom, hosted by John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Tuesday (4/27) at 5 pm, virtual panel “Confronting the Epidemic of Traffic Violence” discusses a comprehensive lifesaving approach to traffic safety and the challenge of supporting crash victims, hosted by Hunter College’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. Click the title to register.

Tuesday (4/27) at 5:30 pm, virtual town hall “Let’s Reimagine School Together” invites Community Board 6 families to share their vision of post-pandemic schools and what families need to send their child back to the classroom in September. Click the title to register.

Tuesday (4/27) at 6 pm, “Benefits Webinar for Older Adults” covers food, health insurance, air conditioner, rent, and property tax public benefits that older adults may qualify for. Click the title to register for the webinar, hosted by Council Member Helen Rosenthal and LiveOn NY.

Tuesday (4/27) at 7 pm, City Council District 7 (West Harlem and southern Washington Heights) candidates participate in the virtual “Greater Harlem Unite: Next Gen Candidates Forum Series,” hosted by the National Council of Negro Women Manhattan Section, the New York Branch of the NAACP, the National Action Network Youth Huddle, Strategy for Black Lives, and Educated Voter. Click the title (the first link) to register.

Wednesday (4/28), “COVID-19 Recovery for Faith Communities: Navigating Strategic Change & Finance Challenges” invites faith-based organizations to the 9:30 am session and houses of worship to the noon session, hosted by New York Disaster Interfaith Services. Click the title to register.

Thursday (4/29) at 10 am, State Senator Liz Krueger’s virtual roundtable for seniors and boomers, “Advanced Care Planning Part 2: For Yourself and Your Finances” covers medical needs, Medicaid considerations, guardianship, making funeral arrangements, powers of attorney, trusts, and last wills and testaments. Click the title to register.

Thursday (4/29) at noon, virtual panel “Power After the Pandemic: Organizing Futures” discusses how cross-sector coalitions can build solidarity and power in service of more equitable cities, hosted by the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development and the Urban Design Forum. Click the title to register.

Thursday (4/29) at 1 pm, students and educators are invited to a virtual conversation “Stuff is Broken, Let’s Fix It” with author Sandra Goldmark about understanding our relationship with stuff and charting a clear path to a more sustainable, equitable, and circular pattern of consumption. Click the title to register for the event, part of the NYC Dept. of Education’s Office of Sustainability “Meet the Expert” series.

Thursday (4/29) at 4 pm, theater and court-involved youth nonprofit Drama Club NYC presents a virtual improv show, “Second Chances.” Watch on Zoom (meeting ID: 550 855 9017, passcode: 555121) or on Facebook.

Thursday (4/29) at 5 pm, “Supporting Families of Students with a Disability in Fostering Student Independence during Remote Learning” is the topic of the weekly virtual “Parent Guide to Remote Learning” series from Rep. Adriano Espaillat and the NYC Dept. of Education. Register here.

Thursday (4/29) at 6:30 pm, virtual panel “Interfaith Youth Dialogue on Hate” showcases six youth voices discussing how hate impacts their communities, hosted by the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit. Click the title to register.

Thursday (4/29) at 7 pm is the virtual musical “The Boy Who Listened to Paintings,” part of Theater for the New City’s “On the Air” series. Stream it here.

Friday (4/30) at noon, webinar “Supporting the Mental Health of Caregivers at Work” covers how to support caregivers and gives an overview of caregivers’ rights in the workplace, hosted by ThriveNYC. Click the title to register.

Friday (4/30) at 1 pm, virtual series “New York City’s Comeback” from the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce kicks off with “Ensuring an Equitable Recovery for our Workforce,” featuring distinguished panelists. Click the title to register and to see the rest of the series.