Cranston Chatter

By MERI R. KENNEDY
Posted 2/12/20

By MERI R. KENNEDY RI Black Film Festival preview event The Cranston Public Library will be hosting the 2020 Rhode Island Black Film Festival Exclusive Preview Event on Saturday, Feb. 22. The event will take place in the James T. Giles Community Room at

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RI Black Film Festival preview event

The Cranston Public Library will be hosting the 2020 Rhode Island Black Film Festival Exclusive Preview Event on Saturday, Feb. 22. The event will take place in the James T. Giles Community Room at Central Library, 140 Sockanosset Cross Road.

The event will be held in two parts. Part one is from 12:45-1:45 p.m. and will feature a screening of “U Street Contested” and a Q&A with the filmmaker. Participants are invited to join filmmaker Michael T. Barry Jr. for a screening and Q&A discussion of his short film about the historically significant U Street neighborhood in Washington, D.C. and its current battle with gentrification. This exclusive screening is made possible by the Rhode Island Black Film Festival.

Part two will begin at 2 p.m. and end at 4:45 p.m. Guests will view the film “Green Book” and then and join a discussion about Rhode Island Green Book locations moderated by Ray Rickman and Dr. Catherine Zipf. In this Academy Award-winning movie, “a working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South” (IMDb.com). “Green Book” is rated PG-13.

Both events are free and open to the public. Registration is required by calling the Central Library at 943-9080, ext. 3, or emailing central@cranstonlibrary.org. Please put RIBFF Event in the subject line and indicate whether you are attending one or both events.

Bowling for Animals

On Sunday, Feb. 16, Defenders of Animals will host a fundraising event at Town Hall Lanes, located at 1463 Atwood Ave. in Johnston, from 2 to 4 p.m. For $20 per person, the package includes two hours of bowling, a pizza and a pitcher of soda at each lane. For more information or to register, contact Defenders of Animals at 461-1922.

RI Academic Decathlon seeking volunteers

Rhode Island Academic Decathlon is actively recruiting volunteers for its state competition on Sunday, March 8. Volunteers evaluate the speech and interview skills of high school students or assist with exams and event management. The competition is hosted by the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick, and most volunteers serve from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Training is provided on the day of the event. Twelve teams from high schools across the state are competing.

For more information on the Academic Decathlon, visit acdec.net or email frank.lenox@acdec.net or jen.randall@acdec.net. To register as a volunteer, visit riadregistration.org/decathlon/volunteers.pl.

Diversity Commission survey

The city’s Diversity Commission has been meeting for several months to ensure that the city is effectively reaching out to its citizens regarding employment opportunities for all. It is currently asking for input from residents and participation in a three-minute community assessment survey regarding the city’s employment strategies. The survey is available in multiple languages and can be found at https://bit.ly/2RiYOZc.

Olympian Beisel to visit Barrington Books

Barrington Books Garden City will host Olympic medalist and Rhode Island native Elizabeth Beisel for a talk and book signing for her new book, “Silver Lining,” on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 6 p.m. at 176 Hillside Road in Cranston.

Beisel is a three-time Olympic swimmer and two-time Olympic medalist for the United States. She also competed in season 39 of “Survivor, Island of Idols.”

This is a ticketed event. The $10 ticket fee can be applied to the cost of the book the night of the event. To purchase a ticket, call 432-7222.

Osteoporosis prevention program

An osteoporosis prevention exercise program based on the guidance of Dr. Miriam E. Nelson and Strong Living Program of Tufts University will be held every Monday and Thursday from 10-11 a.m. at Edgewood Congregational Church, located at 1788 Broad St.

To attend the classroom in the church, participants must be in good health to climb the stairs. Participants should bring hand and/or ankle weights specifically appropriate for their own ability, as well as water and comfortable clothes.

A donation of $5 is requested. These one-hour classes include a combination of weight bearing, balance and stretching exercises. They also include standing and sitting exercises, using hand weights and ankle weights for resistance training.

Most exercises will be seated (think “chair yoga”) with some gentle aerobic exercises.

For more information, contact the instructor, Alisson Walsh, at 451-2172 or alissonbw@gmail.com.

Kindergarten registration

Kindergarten registration for Cranston children born before Sept. 1, 2015, is underway. Information regarding kindergarten registration and the online registration form can be found at cpsed.net by clicking the “Kindergarten Registration” button.

Once the packet is complete and the necessary documents have been gathered and signed, call the Student Registration office at 270-8150 to schedule an in-person registration appointment.

Appointments will be held between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at 1196 Park Ave. on the following Saturdays Feb. 22 and Feb. 29. Cranston Public Schools is requesting that parents register their child for kindergarten as early as possible.

Meet Supergirl at Oak Lawn

On Friday, Feb. 21, children can meet Supergirl for a special storytime from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Cranston Public Library’s Oak Lawn Branch, located at 230 Wilbur Ave. The guest storyteller will share some hero-themed stories as well as some well-known songs and rhymes. After the storytime there will be time for guests to get their picture taken with Supergirl. Children up to age 8 are welcome. For more information, visit cranstonlibrary.org.

50th reunion for Cranston East

Cranston High School East class of 1970 will hold its 50th reunion on Aug. 8 at the Cranston Country Club. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. followed by a buffet dinner and music by Tommy Tunes. The Reunion Committee is seeking help in locating classmates. Please send information to Jim Brailsford at jimbo521@cox.net or Barbara Russo at twinn52@yahoo.com.

Chipotle fundraiser to support PVMS Orchestra

Chipotle Mexican Grill, located at 87 Hillside Road in Cranston’s Garden City Center, will host a fundraiser for the Park View Middle School Orchestra on Tuesday, Feb. 25, between 4 and 8 p.m. Bring in the event’s flyer, show it on your smartphone or tell the cashier you’re supporting the cause and 33 percent of the proceeds from your meal will go to support the orchestra.

Quarter Auction to benefit American Heart Association

On Sunday, Feb. 16, a Quarter Auction to benefit the American Heart Association will be held at Spirito’s Restaurant at the Kelley-Gazzerro VFW Post 2812, located at 1418 Plainfield Pike in Cranston.

Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and the event begins at 11 a.m. Entry costs $5. The event will feature prizes, raffles and auctions for items from a range of vendors.

Eco-Depot

Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp. invites Rhode Island residents to safely dispose of their household hazardous waste on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 8 a.m. to noon at 65 Shun Pike in Johnston. This Eco-Depot is available to Rhode Island residents only, and to help reduce time spent in line, appointments should be made in advance. To make an appointment for the collection, visit ecodepotri.org or call 942-1430, ext. 241.

Call for poetry

Cranston-based nonprofit Notable Works has announced a call for poetry submissions for consideration in its next publication. The theme is “Voices of the Earth: People Helping People/Resilience.”

Poetry submissions may be emailed to noreeninglesi@cox.net or mailed to Notable Works Publication and Distribution Co. Inc., PO Box 8122, Cranston, RI 02920. Those whose work is selected for publication will receive a complimentary copy of the book upon its release.

The deadline for submissions is May 1. For more information, visit notableworks.org.

Roving Roger at Central Library

Through February, the Cranston Public Library’s Central Library will host Roving Roger, a traveling exhibit created and sponsored by the Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea and the Rhode Island Department of State. This exhibit is designed to promote awareness and understanding of Rhode Island’s colonial founder, Roger Williams. For more information, visit cranstonlibrary.org.

Memory loss presentation

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, the Cranston Enrichment Center will host “Good Diet & Exercise for Brain Health” with presenter Jodi DiRaimo.

Recent studies have identified a dietary pattern that can significantly reduce the risk of dementia and loss of brain function as people age. Healthy brain function depends on one’s lifestyle and especially what we eat and drink. At this presentation, attendees will learn which foods to eat and which to avoid, as well as the importance of exercise for brain health.

For additional information, follow the Cranston Enrichment Center on Facebook or visit cranstonseniorcenter.com.

Free teacher assistant training program at CCAP

Are you 18-24 years old, have a clean BCI and a high school diploma or GED? Call today to sign up for Comprehensive Community Action’s free teacher assistant training program.

The program consists of two weeks of classroom instruction, job shadowing and the ParaPro Assessment, which is the state exam for teacher assistant certification.

Classes will be held Feb. 24 through March 5 and will run for two weeks, Monday through Friday, from noon to 3 p.m. The program will be held at the Institute for Labor Studies and Research, 1540 Pontiac Ave., Cranston. Transportation will be provided if needed.

For more information or to sign up, call 562-8325 or visit comcap.org.

Tax assistance at library

The Cranston Public Library will host an AARP tax aide at the Central Library every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through April 9. Each taxpayer must bring a Social Security card, photo ID and last year’s tax return, with no exceptions. There are no appointments and assistance is provided on a first come, first served basis. For more information, call AARP at 1-888-687-2277.

Winter story times at Hall Library

The William Hall Library will offer winter story times each week. The library will be offering Discovery Storytime on Monday mornings at 10:30 a.m. for ages 3-5, and Babies in the Hall on Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m. for ages 0-2. No registration or tickets will be required. For more information, visit cranstonlibrary.org.

Craft Bash at Artists’ Exchange

The Artists’ Exchange, 50 Rolfe Square, Cranston, invites families to take part in free Crash Bash events on the last Saturday of every month. The expressive arts can work as a tool for strengthening students’ skills in all disciplines by offering alternative ways to think about core subjects.

Craft Bash is free and open to all ages and abilities. For more information, call 490-9475 or visit artists-exchange.org.

Family health services at CCAP

Tired of ineffective yet expensive medical care? Check out Family Health Services at the Comprehensive Community Action Program. CCAP offers affordable, 24/7, professional family health and dentistry services. The experienced staff includes physicians, nurse practitioners and other health care professionals who are caring, compassionate and highly skilled. New patients are welcome. For more information, call 384-6007.

New Hope Art Gallery

The New Hope Art Gallery’s Holiday/Winter Show remains open at the Cranston Enrichment Center, located at 1070 Cranston St. The show features hundreds of pieces of artwork from a range of artists and provides a great opportunity post-holiday shopping. To learn more, visit the gallery’s Facebook page.

Pickleball schedule

The Cranston Parks and Recreation Department is offering Pickleball at the Pastore Youth Center, located at 155 Gansett Ave. It will be held on Sundays from 4:30-7:30 p.m. through March 21. Monday and Wednesday times of noon to 2:15 p.m. will remain unchanged through the winter.

The fee is $3 per person per day. The program is open to Cranston residents and nonresidents. For more information, visit the Parks and Recreation page on the city’s website, cranstonri.com.

Cranston High School class of 1960 reunion

Cranston High School’s class of 1960 plans to hold its 60th reunion on Sept. 12, 2020, at the Cranston Country Club. The cost will be $50 per person. For more information, contact Joan Farmanian Fratterelli at 349-3922.

Toys and Tunes

Drop by Oak Lawn Branch Library, 230 Wilbur Ave., on Friday mornings from 10-11:30 a.m. this fall for Toys and Tunes, a play time program with music and stories. The program is open to ages 0-5 with a parent/caregiver. Registration is not required. For more information, visit cranstonlibrary.org.

Cookbook Club at the library

The Cranston Public Library’s Cookbook Club is a new book club for adults with a tasty twist. In this club, participants will read a different cookbook each month and come together to share the tasty recipes that lie inside their pages.

For more information or to sign up, contact Corrie at 943-9080, ext. 129, or calves@cranstonlibrary.org.

Delivery of library books

The Cranston Public Library will deliver any item that has a three-week loan period. Patrons never pay a late fee or fine because the library picks up all the materials within that three-week time frame.

Volunteers deliver books in regular or large print, as well as audiobooks, magazines, music CDs and documentary DVDs, to any homebound Cranston resident living in their own home. Due to concerns about chain of custody, the library is unable to deliver to nursing homes or assisted living facilities. To register or to become a volunteer driver, contact Karen McGrath at 781-6116 or karenmcgrath@cranstonlibrary.org.

Caregiver volunteers needed

Volunteers are being sought to provide respite services for home bound seniors. Services include providing companionship, running errands and providing transportation to medical appointments.

If you are interested in becoming an RSVP caregiver volunteer, contact Karen at 780-6159 for an interview. Volunteers must be 55 years of age or older and a BCI check is required. A mileage reimbursement is provided to cover the cost to travel.

St. David’s hall rentals

St. David’s on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, located at 200 Meshanticut Valley Parkway in Cranston, offers affordable rates to rent its upper and lower halls for events of all kinds. For more information, visit stdavidsonthehill.net/hall-rental or contact the church office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 942-4368.

Did you know?

Esther Howland is the first manufacturer of Valentines. She became known as the “Mother of the American Valentine” for the artistry and sentiment of her designs. Before Howland commercialized them, American Valentines were less romantic and more comic. Her inspiration came from the thoughtful and sweet greeting cards that were circulating in England and she decided to sell similar designs in the U.S. They took off: During the 1850s she earned $100,000 annually, which is about $3 million today.

To submit your news from the community, email Meri R. Kennedy at CranstonChatter@aol.com. Photos in jpg format are accepted and news can include community events, promotions, academic news and nonprofit events. Email today and see your news in our column in the Cranston Herald. Please include a daytime telephone number in case we require any further information. Be sure to check out our website at cranstononline.com.

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