Briefs: December 20th, 2021 – South Philly Review

Briefs: December 20th, 2021 – South Philly Review

Whitman Library hosts virtual stitching sessions every Wednesday.

Whitman Library hosts Virtual Stitch Meetup on Zoom

Want to share what you’re making with other crafters from the comfort of your own home? Join Whitman Library’s new stitching group. All forms of “stitching” are welcome (knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, quilting). Email Rebecca at with questions or to register. Virtual meetups are every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Comcast in 2021

Comcast is looking back at its 2021 milestones, including introduction of advanced Wi-Fi technology capable of delivering the fastest speeds.

In addition, Comcast invested $26 million in the last two years to expand its network throughout Greater Philadelphia and New Jersey, directly reaching nearly 4,000 businesses and benefiting thousands more by making the network more accessible and affordable.

Also, Comcast launched streaming services like Disney+ and ESPN+ on X1 and Flex and enhanced its Xfinity Mobile service. That same service was provided to its small business customers with the new Comcast Business Mobile.

In all, there are more than 30 Xfinity stores in the region. Also, Xfinity Rewards gives special perks and discounts to customers.

Comcast RISE supports small businesses owned by “people of color.” In 2021, Comcast provided more than 500 people with free marketing or technology services and awarded 100 small businesses in Philadelphia and Chester with $10,000 investment grants to support them through the pandemic recovery.

This year was the 10th anniversary of Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption effort for low-income households, which has connected a cumulative total of 840,000 individuals across the region since 2011. The cost is just $9.95 a month.

Beyond Literacy, The Welcoming Center and SEAMAAC received 1,000 free laptops and a $30,000 donation split among the organizations.

Comcast partnered with Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey & Philadelphia to launch a WiFi-connected Lift Zone, donating grants totaling $35,000 and distributing 500 free laptops.

This year, Comcast equipped more than 125 community spaces in the region with WiFi-connected Lift Zones. Lift Zones are part of Project UP, Comcast’s initiative to advance “digital equity.”

Comcast is supporting the federal government’s Emergency Broadband Benefit. This temporary benefit program is designed to help qualified low-income households receive a credit of up to $50 per month toward their internet service until the program’s funding runs out.

Other community investments during 2021 included supporting the Preston & Steve Show’s Camp Out for Hunger benefitting Philabundance; donating $400,000 to Greater Philadelphia food banks to tackle food insecurity; contributing $325,000 to three Philadelphia and New Jersey nonprofits impacted by Hurricane Ida; and working with the City of Philadelphia and other philanthropic partners to provide internet through PHLConnectED — enabling more than 18,000 connections so far.

McSwain presents education plan

Bill McSwain, Republican candidate for governor, shared his plans for comprehensive education reform across the state.

As governor, McSwain will empower parents by supporting school choice, working to expand charter schools, standing up to teachers’ union bosses and banning critical race theory from being taught in Pennsylvania schools.

McSwain released the Pillars of Education Reform, which outline his education reform priorities, including a pledge to never accept a cent from teachers’ unions, a promise to restore power to parents by enacting a Parents’ Bill of Rights, and increasing educational opportunity for all students via school choice resources.

In tandem with the Pillars of Education Reform, McSwain released the Parents’ Bill of Rights, which outlines the powers, authorities and freedoms that he will restore to parents across the state. These include the right to an in-person education, the right to know the curriculum that your child is being taught and the right to have your child educated free from political indoctrination.

“Education is a gateway to a better life, and every family deserves the freedom to choose the education that is best for their children,” McSwain said. “As governor, I will empower parents to have the final authority over their children’s education, and fight back against teachers’ union bosses in defense of students and good teachers. Our schools will be open, and there will be no more heavy-handed statewide mandates forcing families to turn their kitchens into classrooms. I will ban critical race theory and other hateful and divisive rhetoric, and increase access to school choice resources. I will put the power back where it belongs – with parents and families.” 

Flower show tickets available

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society announced that tickets are on sale for the Philadelphia Flower Show.

The theme is In Full Bloom. The show will take place at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, 1500 Pattison Ave., from Saturday, June 11, through Sunday, June 19.

For tickets, go to

Apply for scholarship

The deadline is March 1 to apply for the Children’s Scholarship Fund Philadelphia.

Scholarships are available to income-eligible kids in kindergarten through eighth grade. They are awarded by random lottery.

Apply at

Shop small businesses

December is National Small Business Month.

For more information, visit or

North alums awarding grants

The Northeast Catholic Alumni Association awards tuition grants to the sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of its members.

The checks are awarded to students who meet criteria, and the monies are sent to the Catholic school that they are choosing to attend. Aid is sent to Catholic elementary and high schools and universities in the Philadelphia, Camden and Trenton dioceses.

Grants are given to 32 students annually for their four years in high school or college and three years in elementary school.

Students can apply for a grant if their father or grandfather attended Northeast Catholic and is a dues-paying member of the alumni association. Applications are accepted until Jan 31, 2022.

Call 215-543-1051 or email

Monster Jam at the Linc

Monster Jam returns to Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday, April 16.

The show starts at 7 p.m., with a pit party for fans going from 2:30 to 5:30.

At the pit party, fans can see the massive 12,000-pound trucks up close, meet their favorite drivers and crews, and take pictures.

Tickets are available at

Activities at Academy of Natural Sciences

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is hosting several current and upcoming exhibits.

Hidden Works of Nature: The Microscopic World in the Library & Archives will be on exhibit on the following Fridays, hourly from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Jan. 7 and 21, Feb. 4 and 18 and March 4 and 18.

Permian Monsters: Life Before the Dinosaurs goes through Jan. 17, 2022.

A junior scientist workshop, What’s So Amazing About a Diatom?, will take place on Saturday, Jan. 22, from 10 a.m. to noon. The workshop is geared to kids in third to fifth grades. Register at

The presentation Invisible Worlds and the Cycle of Life  is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 30, at 2 p.m.

A junior scientist workshop, How Do Plants Communicate?, is set for Saturday, Feb. 12, from 10 a.m. to noon. The workshop is for kids in third to fifth grades. Register at 

The discussion Growing Art from Science will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m. Register at

A junior scientist workshop titled Water Bugs, geared to kids in third to fifth grades, is scheduled for Saturday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to noon. Register at

Invisible World of Water runs through April 17, 2022.

A “winter break” camp will run from Monday to Thursday, Dec. 27-30, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The camp is for ages 6-10. Register at

Water exhibit opens

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is presenting Invisible World of Water, on view through April 17, 2022 and free with general admission.

The exhibit coincides with “Water Year,” a 2022 initiative of the Academy of Natural Sciences and Drexel University aimed to increase public attention of the resource.

For more information, visit

Kimmel schedule

The Kimmel Cultural Campus has returned to live Broadway programming.

Here is the schedule through next summer: Stomp (Dec. 28 to Jan. 2, Merriam Theater); Pretty Woman: The Musical (Jan. 4-16, Academy of Music); Hadestown (Feb. 9-20, Academy of Music); Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (Feb. 22-27, Academy of Music); Rent: 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour (March 4-6, Merriam Theater); Oklahoma! (March 8-20, Forrest Theatre); Waitress (March 29 to April 3, Academy of Music); Hairspray (May 16-22, Merriam Theater); To Kill A Mockingbird (July 12-24, Academy of Music); and Dear Evan Hansen (Aug. 16-28, Forrest Theatre).

For more information, call 215-893-1955 or visit

Upcoming cruise

The Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation is sponsoring a cruise to Charleston and Bermuda, June 2-12, 2022, on the Celebrity Summit, sailing from Cape Liberty, in North Jersey. Rates range from $1,577 to $2,387 per person, double occupancy.

Call 215-788-9408 for information and reservations. 

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