New community engagement liaison hired for OneCranston

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OneCranston, an initiative through Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP), has welcomed a new addition to their team, Caitlyn Blankenship, as their Community Engagement Specialist.

Blankenship began the position at the end of April and her primary responsibilities will be to connect OneCranston to community members, business and to help form new partnerships. She will be creating networking events, public events and promoting upcoming events.

Specifically, Blankenship will be promoting and organizing OneCranston’s upcoming Parent Leadership Institute, which helps to educate and train parents to become civically engaged in their communities. Facilitators teach the 20-week institute and guide the participants through the process of choosing a project and then achieving the goals of that project. The institute will begin in the fall and participants can receive college credits from Roger Williams University for the course.

“There are a lot of job training skills acquired in the sessions,” said Blankenship. “Parents often have issues they’d like to see solved, but they don’t know how to positively make a change. This leadership institute will teach those types of skills.”

Blankenship is also helping to facilitate this Saturday’s upcoming Cranston Police Public Safety Day on May 19 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The event involves many local community partners, including Texas Roadhouse, the Cranston Police Department, and the Substance Abuse Task Force and will take place at Texas Roadhouse on Garfield Avenue in Cranston.

In addition to helping to facilitate the OneCranston initiatives, Blankenship will be attending local meetings and committee events to try to stay in the loop in Cranston, including budget meetings and school-related meetings.

Blankenship is not new to Cranston and has grown up in the area, worked locally and continues to be connected to her community. “I’ve lived in Cranston my whole life,” she said. “My parents still live in the same house. I went to Gladstone, Bain and I graduated from Cranston East in 2013. I have worked at Big Cheese and I have met a lot of people from our community there, and it’s through that job that I am still connected to many people in the community. I worked at Bain and East as a volunteer during my senior year of high school and then began working in the Bain after school program. I started their Kidpalooza event, which is going to be in its fifth year this year. I am still partnered with the program through our youth opportunities partnerships.”

Blankenship is also working with local elementary schools through OneCranston, helping to create and facilitate partnerships in the areas of literacy, math and STEAM.

For more information about upcoming OneCranston events and initiatives, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OneCranston-170565020106118.

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