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Mayor de Blasio Announces Fun at Home, A New Platform to Engage Youth in Fun, Safe Activities at Home

April 7, 2020

Teens and young adults can visit or text “Fun” to 97743 to receive the latest updates on resources and activities

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today Fun at Home, a free new digital platform to provide safe, fun, and entertaining virtual activities for New York City’s teens and young adults. This first-of-its-kind campaign combines city and community resources to engage teens who are at home during the COVID-19 crisis, and also provides tips to cope with the public and mental health challenges that may arise during this difficult time.

“These unprecedented times demand sacrifices from all New Yorkers,” said Mayor de Blasio. “As we completely change the normal way of life for our youth and ask them to remain indoors, I encourage everyone to take advantage of these virtual activities to help cope with this challenging new reality.”

“This is a stressful time for many people in our city, but we want New Yorkers to know that we are here to offer hope and support as they adjust to a rapidly changing world,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “This new platform will create healthy online environments for young people, and provide them with tools to support their physical and mental health.”

Fun at Home can be accessed at or texting “Fun” to 97743 to receive the latest updates on resources and activities. This platform, built-in consultation with youth from the NYC Youth Leadership Councils, was designed to engage teenagers while encouraging them to stay home and practice physical distancing. Users can access to dozens of diverse activities, including exercise videos, SAT practice sessions, and links to free NBA League Pass and Mario Kart tournaments.

Fun at Home builds upon the Children’s Cabinet’s Generation NYC initiative, which aggregates youth-friendly resources across dozens of City agencies. Fun at Home is a partnership between the Children's Cabinet, the NYC Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, and Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity, NYC Service and the Young Men's Initiative.

“Youth in New York City need entertaining and healthy options while they must stay at home during this challenging time,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services and NYC Children’s Cabinet Chair Dr. Raul Perea-Henze. “We are pleased to gather resources across the de Blasio administration and offer the Fun at Home platform as a virtual initiative to uplift youth and their families.” 

“The most important thing our students can do is stay home to stay safe, and I thank our partners in City government for providing resources for young people to engage with and keep their spirits high,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “We’re committed to continuous learning remotely during this crisis, but know there is also time for fun—and we’re glad there’s a space for that!”

“Now more than ever, families are under an unusual amount of stress due to the COVID-19 public health crisis and this new platform is a safe, fun way to engage teens while they're at home,” said ACS Commissioner David A. Hansell. “ACS will continue working to ensure that New York City children and teens are safe and supported during this challenging time.”

“We need New Yorkers to stay home but we don’t want them to remain idle,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “Fun at Home will give young people a way to stay active and healthy while also doing their part by staying inside.” 

“DYCD is proud to support Fun at Home, a single platform providing tens of thousands of our participants with access to all the City has to offer. Our My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper Youth Council will help launch some of DYCD’s hallmark programs that have gone digital during the COVID-19 crisis, including Recipe Rescue, Step It Up, DYCD Film Festival and My Voice, activities include DYCD’s digital art series in partnership with The Comic Book Project and Young Audiences New York; open mic and writing workshops provided by Urban Word NYC; film workshops with Show the Good; and weekly dance/step sessions featuring the ‘All About Hip Hop’ class with our partners at Gibney Dance. We look forward to bringing home the fun for teens and young adults alike,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong.
“Keeping young people engaged and connected while they remain home is more important than ever for their ability to stay safe,” said NYC Department of Probation Commissioner Ana M. Bermudez. “We know that a sense of belonging and being cared for are critical to the healthy emotional development of young people, and that is why resources like Fun at Home are so valuable during this pandemic.”

“The organizational challenges we are facing at home and in our schools are unprecedented and many of our young people are feeling anxious and confused right now,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships Chauncey Parker. “This is a great way to practice social distancing, learn and have fun in a safe place.”

“Fun at Home is a vital resource for young New Yorkers during this difficult time, including many positive activities and coping strategies that can play a valuable role in promoting mental health,” said Susan Herman, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director, Mayor’s Office of ThriveNYC.

 “Fun at Home is a testament to the importance of finding innovative solutions to address the needs of all New Yorkers as we adapt to life during COVID-19. This initiative will help ensure that New York City’s youth has ample access to resources and support during this pandemic and beyond,” said Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

 “New York City youth are critical in helping us get through this pandemic and leading our communities through future crises,” said NYC Chief Service Officer Anusha Venkataraman. “The Fun at Home platform will give young people access to resources that encourage them to build knowledge and community on issues that matter to them.”

“The effect of COVID-19 on daily life has been profound for all of us, and certainly to the typical social life of the city's teenagers,” said Matthew Klein, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity.  "During a time that young people are not able to spend time with their friends, the team working on Generation NYC is committed to meeting them where they are with resources and support."

“The Young Men’s Initiative is proud to support Fun at Home. Now more than ever, our youth need fun, engaging activities to stimulate their minds and uplift their spirits,” said Jordan Stockdale, new Executive Director of the Young Men’s Initiative. Stockdale previously served as Deputy Executive Director of the Close Rikers Initiative at the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and managed the office’s school climate and Raise the Age portfolios. He is a former special education teacher and Fulbright Scholar.

“Our young people are dealing with a tremendous amount of uncertainty and Fun at Home is a way for them to activate their mind, body, and spirit,” said Robyne Walker Murphy, Executive Director at Groundswell NYC. “Fun at Home is an incredibly vital resource.”

“It’s important that we make our youth feel supported during these uncertain times,” said Jennifer Efferen, Upward Bound Program Director at Pace University. “I’m happy to see that the City is thinking of creative ways to make young people stay connected and engaged.”

“Girl Vow is hard at work dedicating our time establishing creative platforms so that young people can thrive and succeed during this state of emergency,” said Dawn Rowe, Executive Director of Girl Vow, Inc.

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