Cranston Chatter

Posted 4/28/21

By MERI R. KENNEDY Free COVID-19 testing for Cranston residents OneCranston Health Equity Zone (HEZ) and Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) are offering free COVID-19 tests for Cranston residents through their new mobile van testing sites. he

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Cranston Chatter


Free COVID-19 testing for Cranston residents

OneCranston Health Equity Zone (HEZ) and Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) are offering free COVID-19 tests for Cranston residents through their new mobile van testing sites.

he mobile testing site will be located in the parking lot of Cranston Public Library’s Central Library, located at 140 Sockanosset Cross Road, from May 3 through May 7 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The mobile test site will provide free Binax rapid antigen tests. No appointment or insurance is required.

Snack Bar opening at Senior Center

The Snack Bar at the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center will open with Grab & Go items beginning Monday, May 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Available items will include coffee, tea, orange and cranberry juice, hot chocolate, bottled water, muffins, bagels, toast, eggs and milk. Additional items will be available daily. Please remember brown bag lunches are available for pickup between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. For more information, follow the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center on Facebook or visit

Ward 3 Community Cleanup

City Council members John Donegan, Jessica Marino and Robert Ferri will host the third annual Ward 3 Community Cleanup on Saturday, May 22, starting at 10 a.m. Participants will meet at the lower softball field at the Hugh B. Bain Middle School track. Bring gloves. For more information, email or visit the event's Facebook page.

Cranston RSVP seeking volunteers

The RSVP Program at Cranston’s Department of Senior Services is seeking volunteers to help to deliver brown bag lunches to seniors in the community, run errands for seniors and transport local homebound seniors to medical appointments.

You must be 55 years of age or older to volunteer, and a BCI is required. Mileage reimbursement is given to cover travel costs. AmeriCorps Seniors will also provide insurance protection with three types of coverage – excess accident medical coverage, excess volunteer liability insurance and excess automobile liability insurance.

If you are interested in becoming an RSVP volunteer, contact Karen Porto at 780-6159 for an interview.

Summer jobs for young people

If you are 14 to 24 years old, CCAP’s Lean to Earn Program can prepare you for a great summer paid internship. CCAP’s youth employment, training and education programs provide a full range of services to young people enrolled in school and out of school. All enrollees are connected with a case manager to assist them in their education or employment goals throughout the program.

Programs offered include IT and manufacturing, interactive digital media and computer science, graphic communications, employer partner internships, intro to automotive, welding, it networking and marine trades and life skills.

For more information and to apply, visit or call the Cranston Skills & Youth Center at (401) 525-0869.

CACTC students in winner’s circle

Congratulations to the following Cranston Area Career and Technical Center (CACTC) students, who won gold, silver and bronze medals in the 45th annual SkillsUSA Rhode Island Awards & Recognition Ceremony.

Below, by medal grouping, are the winners and their area of competition.

GOLD: Rafeh Aziz, T-shirt design; Matthew Baccari, extemporaneous speaking; Giana Mesiti, customer service; Peter Morales and Egan Perry (Team B), interactive application and game development; Katia Reyes, basic health care skills; Sofia Riccio, action skills; Abigail Shellard, advertising design; Rachael Zarrella, early childhood education.

SILVER: Nicholas Castriotta, first aid and CPR; Bailey Chapman and Ronald Davidson (Team A), interactive application and game development; Hannah Cote, early childhood education; Karen Ng, photography; Aaron Ring, action skills; Ricardo Vicente, restaurant service; Jovina Yu, T-shirt design.

BRONZE: Carmela Andreozzi, T-shirt design; Angelica Bueno, early childhood education; Megan Card, Emily Whitlock, Ani Poghosyan and Maya Fraenza (Team A), Health Knowledge Bowl; Sophia DiPippo, photography; Ayia Tatari, medical math.

Ward 3 Community Cleanup

City Council members John Donegan, Jessica Marino and Robert Ferri will host the third annual Ward 3 Community Cleanup on Saturday, May 22, starting at 10 a.m. Participants will meet at the lower softball field at the Hugh B. Bain Middle School track. Bring gloves. For more information, email or visit the event's Facebook page.

Books @ Home

Through the Books @ Home program, the Cranston Public Library provides free home delivery of books and other materials to qualifying, homebound residents of Cranston.

It doesn’t matter if you are permanently or temporarily homebound. Books, music and videos are delivered every three weeks at no charge.

For more information about Books @ Home, call the library’s Auburn Branch at 781-6116 or visit

Mortgage assistance

Were you affected by COVID-19 and having trouble making your mortgage?

The city of Cranston’s Department of Community Development, in partnership with CCAP, has funding available in the CDBG Emergency Mortgage Payment Program. This program assists low-income Cranston families earning under 80 percent of the median income who are at risk of losing their homes as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic with up to six months of mortgage assistance.

For more information, call CCAP’s Social Services at (401) 467-7013.

Neighborhood Block Party

A Neighborhood Block Party, sponsored by the Cranston Health Equity Zone (HEZ) in partnership with CCAP, the Cranston YMCA, the Cranston Police Department and Ward 3 Councilman John Donegan, will be held on Wednesday, April 28, from 4-6:30 p.m. at the Bain Middle School field and track.

Attendees will receive information regarding police services, alternatives to policing and mediation services. There will also be current information and resources regarding COVID-19 testing and vaccination.

For everyone’s health and safety, attendees will be asked to follow CDC and Rhode Island Department of Health coronavirus protocols. The event is free and open to the public, and attendees will receive a gift card.

Wonderful Weekend kits

The Cranston Public Library will be offering teens in grades six through 12 the chance to sign up for Wonderful Weekend kits. New kits will be announced every other Monday. To register, visit

CCAP Chip for Charity golf tournament

Save the date – CCAP has announced plans to hold its 2021 Chip for Charity golf tournament on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at Harbor Light Golf Club in Warwick. Sponsorships and foursomes are available. For more details, contact CCAP’s Lee Beliveau at (401) 562-8353 or

As a nonprofit community action program, CCAP needs to raise funds to assist families it serves. A large number of families CCAP serves have lost their jobs, suffered an illness, or experienced a different type of crisis, usually through no fault of their own. Last year, CCAP touched the lives of more than 40,000 people and provided over $1.2 million in uncompensated services.

Chip for Charity, presented by Neighborhood Health and Mutual of America, is CCAP’s largest fundraiser during the year to benefit its programs and services.

Focus on mental health

NAMI Rhode Island is the state organization affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI. It offers an array of education and training programs and services for individuals living with mental illness, family members, schools, providers, and the general public. These programs draw on the experience of individuals with mental illness and family members who have learned to live well with their illnesses and are eager to help others, as well as the expertise of mental health professionals and educators.

NAMI Rhode Island’s programs are free and virtual. For more information on all programs or if you are an interested volunteer, visit, call (401) 331-3060 or email

Summer jobs with DEM

DEM is recruiting qualified lifeguards at beaches, parks and campgrounds. Full-time lifeguard positions are available at all state swimming areas, including saltwater beaches such as Roger Wheeler and Scarborough, non-surf beaches such as Goddard, and freshwater beaches such as Burlingame Campground and Lincoln Woods State Park. Flexible, 20-hour workweeks are available for lifeguard positions at our busiest swimming areas. Hourly rates for lifeguards range from $13.25 to $16.25 an hour, based on location and position level.

All lifeguard candidates must have successfully completed courses and hold valid cards in lifeguard training, first aid, and CPR including infant, child and adult.

DEM also is seeking park rangers and facilities attendants to work at recreational sites across the state. Park rangers are instrumental to a safe and fun experience at DEM properties. They give directions to beachgoers and park users, help with crowd control, provide security checks for facilities, and are the first responders in the event of emergency.

Hourly rates for park rangers range from $10.50 to $11.60. Applicants for facilities attendant and park ranger I must be 16 years of age or older, and applicants to park ranger positions at levels II and III must be 18 years of age or older.

For a complete list of seasonal employment opportunities and to apply, visit Most positions are full-time and include weekend and holiday hours. Applications must be completed online. Paper applications will not be accepted. The state of Rhode Island is an equal opportunity/diversity employer.

With 50 percent fewer teens seeking jobs than 20 years ago, DEM is looking to recruit active older Rhode Islanders and retired military personnel who might want to work part-time work to make up for the lack of younger applicants.

For more information, visit www.

Cranston Y to offer Summer Enrichment Camp

The Cranston YMCA will be hosting Summer Enrichment Camp and is looking forward to bringing all of its amazing enrichment opportunities back into the Y. Students will have the opportunity to swim, play outdoors, take part in STEM activities, do arts and crafts, and so much more.

The camp will run for 10 weeks, beginning June 28 to July 2. The final week will run from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3, pending the return date for Cranston Public Schools.

The cost for YMCA members is $245 per week, while the cost for non-members is $300 per week. Financial assistance is available.

For more information, contact Jess Tate, camp director, at

CCAP Emergency Housing Assistance

The Comprehensive Community Action Program’s Emergency Housing Assistance program assists individuals and families living in Cranston, Coventry, Scituate and Foster with back rent, security deposits, mortgage assistance, late fees associated with back rent or mortgage, moving costs and utilities. Funding is limited. For more information, call CCAP at (401) 467-7013 or visit

RI Housing offers loans

RI Housing’s Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) program is offering zero-interest, forgivable loans to eligible Rhode Island homeowners who became unemployed or underemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to make their mortgage payments.

Loan proceeds may provide eligible homeowners with up to six months of mortgage payment assistance and a mortgage will be recorded on the homeowner’s property. Learn more about the loan program and eligibility at

Be Kind RI

Be Kind RI is a new program that connects volunteers to their neighbors across Rhode Island through text alerts to coordinate food deliveries from grocery stores and food pantries. To sign up, go to Volunteers must be 18 or older and undergo our background check. Be Kind RI is open to those in Rhode Island experiencing COVID-19 risk factors, including seniors 65 and older, anyone with underlying health conditions, those in quarantine or isolation, anyone experiencing a lack of childcare, and those who would otherwise experience difficulty in obtaining food. For assistance signing up, call 877-958-8785.

Tax time at CCAP

CCAP’s VITA Preparation Assistance Program provides free tax preparation for individuals and families earning less than $60,000.

Last year, CCAP’s VITA program filed over 1,000 federal tax returns, helping Rhode Island families receive $2 million in refunds without any cost. The program’s volunteers are trained and certified by the IRS and will help file federal and state income taxes. IRS e-file is the most accurate, safest and fastest way to file a tax return. Refunds can arrive in as little as 10 days.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all returns will be done via drop-off. Call (401) 467-7013 for more information.

Zero Isolation Program

Are you bored? Lonely? Looking for new experiences? The Zero Isolation Program may be for you.

Cranston RSVP is assisting Dr. Nicholson of Quinnipiac University School of Nursing in offering an online program to enhance social integration.

You will be able to meet new people and learn about psychosocial conditions while taking part in interactive small-group activities. Seniors 60 years of age and older participate for about 90 minutes per week for six weeks.

To express interest in participating or for additional details, contact Dr. Nicholson at (203) 582-6542 or

CCAP Portal now available

Need a hand with your rent or utilities? CCAP’s new Online Application Portal can help.

As part of its continuous effort to provide the best possible service, CCAP is pleased to announce the launch of the new application platform at

With a goal of expanding access to CCAP’s social services programs, the application portal will improve clients’ access to up-to-date housing and utility assistance program information and allow clients to upload documents and electronically sign applications.

For questions about the new portal, email or call (401) 467-7013.

Did you know?

Following her mother’s death in 1905, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. (Source: May Fun Facts)

To submit your news from the community, email Meri R. Kennedy at This includes virtual events, which should be submitted two to three weeks ahead of the event. 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.

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