Tomorrow: Back to School Block Party

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Muriel Bowser Ward 4




John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004


Phone: (202) 727-2643

Chief of Staff:
John Falcicchio

City Administrator:
Kevin Donahue

Director of the Mayor's Office of Legal Counsel:
Eugene Adams

Senior Advisor:
Beverly Perry
Director of Mayor's Office of Community Affairs:
Faith Gibson Hubbard

Director of Mayor's Office of Community Relations and Services:
Julia Irving

Scheduling Requests:




















August 13, 2021

Letter from the Mayor

Dear Washingtonians,  

After a long time apart from friends, classmates, teachers, and coaches, we are so excited to welcome our students back for the upcoming school year. As we prepare for the new school year, I hope you will join us at tomorrow's Back to School Block Party at the Woody Ward Recreation Center (5100 Southern Ave SE) between 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. There will be fun, food, music, a pool, free COVID-19 vaccines, and more:

  • Backpack and school supply giveaways
  • A bungee run, a giant soccer kick, and an obstacle course
  • Face painters and superheroes 
  • Burgers, hot dogs, and snacks

For our students 12 and older who claim the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccine, we'll have $51 gift cards and, while supplies last, AirPods. Parents and guardians who bring their children to get their first dose of the vaccine will also get one $51 gift card per child. And remember: all students who get vaccinated will be eligible to win a $25,000 college scholarship. 

And for families who are behind on rent or utility payments, representatives will be on site to assist with applying to STAY DC, the District's rental and utility assistance program.

Our young people have been through a lot over the past two years, they've demonstrated so much resilience and compassion, and now we are ready to help them have a safe, fun, and successful school year. 


Muriel Bowser
Back to School Block Party

In This Week's Newsletter:

Free At-Home COVID-19 Testing Kits

Test Yourself

Residents, workers, and visitors are reminded that free COVID-19 testing is available daily across DC. 

In addition to testing at fire stations, recreation centers, and other sites, individuals can pickup free COVID-19 At Home Testing Kits at 16 libraries located across the city. Locations are open for pickups Monday to Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Testing kits can be dropped off at the same locations seven days a week, as long as the test is dropped off by 8:00 p.m. on the same day the sample is collected. 

Learn more about about the free at-home testing kits at And learn more about all free testing options at

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Kids Ride Free Cards

Kids Ride Free

The new Kids Ride Free SmarTrip cards for the 2021-2022 School Year will be available for pickup by students by the first week of school. New students will be given first priority at their schools to pick up Kids Ride Free SmarTrip cards. School year 2020-2021 Kids Ride Free SmarTrip cards (blue cards) will remain valid through September 30, 2021. Students who have lost or misplaced their School Year 2020-2021 Kids Ride Free SmarTrip card can request a replacement card from their School ID Administrator.

New cards will be sent directly to all DC Public Schools and DC public charter schools for distribution, allowing families to pick up cards directly from their child’s school. To be eligible for participation in the Kids Ride Free program, students must be:

  • A resident of Washington, DC; and
  • Age 5 through 21; and
  • Enrolled in an elementary or secondary public, public charter, private, or parochial school located within the District.

Learn more HERE

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Upcoming STAY DC In-Person Clinics


Help is available if you’re behind on rent and utility payments. Visit to sign up for a STAY DC workshop near you or call 1-833-478-2932 to schedule an appointment.

Upcoming STAY DC In-Person Workshops

  • Saturday, August 14 | Back to School Block Party at Woody Ward Rec Center (5100 Southern Ave SE), 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 14 | Starburst Plaza (1501 Maryland Ave NE), 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. 

  • Tuesday, August 17 | Columbia Heights Civic Plaza (1400 Park Road NW), 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. 

  • Wednesday, August 18 | Bellevue (William O. Lockridge) Neighborhood Library (115 Atlantic St SW), 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. 

  • Thursday, August 19 | Petworth Metro Station (3700 Georgia Ave NW), 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

  • Saturday, August 21 | Turkey Thicket Recreation Center (1100 Michigan Ave NE), 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. 

  • Saturday, August 21 | Chuck Brown Day (Chuck Brown Park, 2901 20th St NE) , 2:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Learn more about the program at

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ICYMI: Summer Restaurant Week Continues Through the Weekend

Summer Restaurant Week

Many local restaurants will continue to offer brunch, lunch, and dinner deals through the weekend as part of Summer Restaurant week. Many restaurants are also offering to-go meals, which became popular during previous Restaurant Weeks when indoor dining was limited.

Visit to learn more about available options, view participating restaurant menus, make reservations, and place orders. 

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