Cranston Chatter

Posted 6/3/20

By MERI R. KENNEDY Editor's note: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many organizations have canceled or postponed events scheduled for the coming weeks. We advise readers to check on the status of various events, and we will provide updates as they become

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Cranston Chatter


Cranston Senior Enrichment Center to begin to reopen

The Cranston Senior Enrichment Center will begin to reopen with strict new guidelines and a gradual reopening process. Beginning this week, the Social Services Division will be open by appointment only. Entry to the center will include a health screening with some questions and a temperature check. Masks must be worn in the building and Transvan will not be available to provide transportation for these appointments. To schedule an appointment, call Jennifer Kevorkian, director of social services, at 780-6254.

Also opening is the Transvan Division for paying members only. There will be limited trips to stores (Aldi’s, Dave’s, Shaw’s, Shore’s, and Stop & Shop). A health screening will be conducted prior to boarding, and masks must be worn while on the Transvan. Riders must be able to manage boarding and disembarking independently without assistance. A reservation is required two business days in advance and seating is limited to a first call, first served basis. To schedule a reservation, call Jane Luker, Transvan coordinator, at 780-6220.

Virtual Pride Day event rescheduled

Rhode Island Pride has made the decision to postpone all virtual Pride flag-raising ceremonies, in light of recent events and demonstrations across the nation. As a result, Cranston’s virtual ceremony, which has been scheduled for June 2, will now be held June 15 at a time to be announced. It will be live streamed on Councilwoman Lammis Vargas’ Facebook page.

Head Start recruitment

The CCAP Cranston Child Development Center’s Head Start Program is kicking off its annual recruitment drive for the 2020-21 school year.

Head Start/Early Head Start provides a free, comprehensive, developmentally appropriate early-education experience for children up to 5 years old, including services for pregnant women.

Participants must meet program requirements. Breakfast, lunch and snack are provided. Extended day services are available for families who are working or in school. The hours available are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. DHS funding accepted. The program actively recruits children with special needs and homeless families.

CCAP also has state-funded pre-K classrooms. To be eligible, children must turn 4 by Sept. 1. The state funded pre-K selection process is by lottery. To sign up for an email notification for the 2020-2021 school year, visit

All referrals are welcome. For questions or additional information, contact Bernadette Groves at 427-4066 or The main number is 943-5160.

From The Artists’ Exchange

It has been a long couple of months, and The Artists’ Exchange is ready to enter phase two of the state’s reopening plan.

The organization has been busy sanitizing and re-configuring its spaces for a safe reopening in cooperation with the guidelines set forth by Gov. Raimondo, the Department of Health, the Department of Education and the CDC.

At this point, The Artists’ Exchange feels it is ready to reopen for limited programming in phase two, with a date to be determined. The organization plans to move forward with camps under new strict guidelines beginning June 29. It is also waiving the $50 cancellation fee for all camp and class cancellations but does request that any cancellations be made two weeks prior to the start of the program.

If your child is enrolled in one of the camps, be on the lookout for additional information for each specific camp including a few changes made to allow for a safely run program.

For more information, call 490-9475 or visit

CCAP Food Bank offers help, seeks donations

The COVID-19 public health emergency is creating an urgent food security challenge for households in the community. CCAP’s Food Bank, located at 311 Doric Ave., lower level, can help, and can be reached by calling 467-7013.

The Food Bank’s hours are Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2-4 p.m.; Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30-6:30 p.m.; and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Food Bank has suspended walk-in service. Clients can pick up their regular monthly pre-made food bags at the Food Bank window.

Donations may be made at CCAP’s location at 311 Doric Ave. in Cranston on any weekday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., excluding holidays.

CCAP is seeking paper goods, cleaning products and a range of nonperishable food items. Specifically sought are peanut butter, whole wheat pasta, tuna, brown rice, canned and dried beans, boxed macaroni and cheese, canned soups and stews, granola bars, canned fruits and vegetables, tomato sauce, breakfast cereals and extra virgin olive oil.

For more information, call 467-7013 or visit

Scholarships available

The Rhode Island Black Business Association is now accepting applications for scholarships. Applicants must reside in Rhode Island, be a high school senior and be set to begin their freshman year at an accredited college or university in the fall of 2021. Award amounts vary from $500 to $1,000. The scholarship application deadline is 4 p.m. on June 30, 2020. For additional information, call 401-383-1179 or email

Libraries plan limited access

Now that the governor has lifted the stay-at-home order, the Cranston Public Library will be resuming limited access to library materials and services in phases over the next several weeks.

Plans have been developed in consultation with the Library Board of Trustees and Mayor Allan Fung and are based on guidance from Gov. Gina Raimondo and the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services Task Force on Reopening Libraries.

Last week Cranston Public Library launched a contact-less pick up service, which will enables patrons to request materials that are in Cranston library buildings. Using this service, patrons will be able to request up to five items at a time. Contact-less pickup will be available at all locations except the Arlington branch. Please note that the library will have limited staffing during this time, and you may have to leave a message.

The library will also be offering a remote printing service for up to 10 pages free with contact-less pick up.

For more information on how to request materials, printing and schedule a pickup, visit All due dates on current loans have been extended to July 1. Materials may be returned in the library’s drop boxes.

Summer jobs program with CCAP

CCAP is now accepting online applications for its 2020 Real Skills For Youth summer work-based learning program.

CCAP’s youth employment, training and education programs assist young people between the ages of 14 and 24 through free education, training programs and job placement assistance. All enrollees are connected with a case manager to assist them in their education or employment goals throughout the program.

To be eligible for the summer employment program, applicants must reside in Rhode Island, be authorized to work in the United States, be at least 14 years old by July 1 and be available to work between July 6 and Aug. 16. Age groups vary based on individual programs.

For more information or to apply, visit

Virtual programs at the library

The Cranston Public Library has continued to offer popular virtual programs and events during the pandemic. Join them for Storytime Live, interactive book discussion groups, trivia, workshops, and more, all available from the comfort of your own home.

Virtual programs are held using different platforms, such as Facebook Live and Zoom. All events and programs are free.

Storytime Live programs with Miss Martha, Miss Elise and Miss Emily are held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:30-11 a.m.

Bedtime Stories are held every Tuesday from 7:30-7:45 p.m. Cranston librarians share a quiet read-aloud for your bedtime routine. Tune in on Facebook each week for a new story.

Teen Book Chat is held on Thursdays from 3-3:20 p.m. Cranston librarians recommend books for children and teens that are currently available online. Tune in on Facebook each week to find out what to read next.

Hands-on Science is held on Fridays from 3-3:20 p.m. Make something amazing happen using the scientific method. Cranston librarians will walk you through an easy experiment or project you can do at home.

RI Dahlia Society announcements

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rhode Island Dahlia Society will not hold in-person meetings until it is deemed safe to do so. The Annual Tuber Sale is still ongoing online at Click on “RIDS tuber sale open for business” on the home page. There is a list of tubers available, and an order form to download. It is the perfect time to plant dahlias, and the beautiful blooms last until the fall frost.

Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market is open

The Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market opened for the season May 2. The market will be open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon until late October. It is held at 60 Rhodes Place in Cranston.

The market’s organizers have made some changes to keep vendors and patrons safe. All foot traffic is now one-way from start to finish. Stands are more than 8 feet apart to create social distancing space and cones clearly mark where to stand. Masks must be worn by all visitors and vendors, and hand-washing stations can be found throughout the market. Visitors are additionally encouraged to keep their pets at home.

Parking for the market is in the upper parking lot, and no eating is permitted while shopping at the market.

For more information, visit

Trash and yard waste

Trash pick-up is continuing a normal schedule, while yard waste pick-up will be on residents’ usual trash day until mid-December. For more information, visit

Community Garden

Cranston’s only community garden, the Edgewood Community Garden at Cherry Woods, is located behind Edgewood Highland Elementary School on Pawtuxet Avenue. The garden is run by the West Bay Land Trust, and the cost for a 4-by-16-foot plot is $25. New gardeners are welcome, but spots go quickly. Contact Lisa Gibb at for more information.

Warwick Vets to hold 60th reunion

Warwick Veterans Memorial High School’s class of 1960 has scheduled its 60th reunion for Sept. 12 at the Shriner’s Imperial Room, 1 Rhodes Place, Cranston. A social hour will be held from 12-1 p.m. and a lunch buffet will run from 1-4 p.m. The cost is $35 per person.

Please respond to Kathy Bouthillier, 94 Colonel John Gardner Road, Narragansett, RI 02882. Payment must be received by July 22. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the door.

For questions, call Sally (Anderson) Allen at 783-0205. The committee is seeking help locating classmates.

Surveys for Health Equity Zone

The Cranston Health Equity Zone community surveys are now live. There is an adult survey (available in English, Spanish, and Khmer) and a teen survey. The survey will ultimately be used to inform initiatives to improve health in Cranston. Everyone who takes the survey will be entered in to win one of five raffle prizes. Results will be reported back to the community in the spring.

The adult survey can be found at, while the teen survey is available at

For additional information, contact or 714-7004.

Did you know?

Necco Wafers are coming back! They should be available at major drug stores and some grocery stores across the nation this month. Spangler said it expects the candies to show up at other retailers the following month.

Necco Wafers are one of the country’s oldest candies, dating to 1847. The wafers come in eight flavors: lemon (yellow), lime (green), orange (orange), clove (light purple), cinnamon (white), wintergreen (pink), licorice (dark gray) and chocolate (brown). (Source:

To submit your news from the community, email Meri R. Kennedy at 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. 


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