NEWS

Cranston Chatter

Posted 5/5/21

By MERI R. KENNEDY City announces summer camp program Mayor Ken Hopkins has announced the Parks and Recreation Department will offer a five-week summer camp program. Playground Program will run from July 6 to Aug. 6. The cost will be $150 per week and

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NEWS

Cranston Chatter

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City announces summer camp program

Mayor Ken Hopkins has announced the Parks and Recreation Department will offer a five-week summer camp program. Playground Program will run from July 6 to Aug. 6. The cost will be $150 per week and $625 for all five weeks. Participants must register for the entire week so stable groups are maintained.

Registration information will be forthcoming. The Parks and Recreation Department is awaiting updated summer camp guidelines, including group sizes, from the state of Rhode Island before opening registration.

Parks and Recreation plans to have 10 camp locations – five locations for 6-8 year olds and five locations for 9-12 year olds. Camp locations for 6-8 year olds are Beachmont Avenue fields, Dutemple Elementary, Stone Hill Elementary, Woodridge Elementary and Orchard Farms Elementary. Camp locations for 9-12 year olds are Doric Avenue field, Park View Athletic Complex, Glen Hills Elementary, Hope Highlands Elementary and the Chafee Complex (Hope Road).

Camp will have more site-based activities with performers and special activity organizers brought in. There will be a limited number of field trips planned this summer. The city will follow the most up-to-date COVID guidelines.

Camp counselor jobs

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department will be accepting summer job applications for camp counselors from May 3 through May 31. Applicants must be at least 16 by July 6, 2021, and a Cranston resident. Returning applicants will be given first consideration; open positions could be limited depending on the number of previous employees returning. Applications are available online at cranstonri.com and the Cranston Parks and Recreation Department Facebook page.

Completed applications can be sent to the Parks and Recreation Department or emailed to recreation program coordinator Scott Sevegny at ssevegny@cranstonri.org.

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.

The mobile testing site will be located in the parking lot of Cranston Public Library’s Central Library, located at 140 Sockanosset Cross Road, 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 is open with Grab & Go items 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 www.cranstonseniorcenter.com.

Need a dress for prom?

Do you know someone attending prom and in need of a dress? Alexandra’s Boutique has donated over a hundred brand new, never worn prom dresses. The sizes are indicated on the dress. If there is one you like, please call one of the youth centers to come and pick it up, free of charge. Call the Cranston Youth Center at 562-8325.

NAMI to present free mental health series

NAMI’s “Ending the Silence for Families” will be held on May 10 from 6 to 7 p.m. and pre-registration is preferred. Please email your name, city/town, phone number, and email address to beth@namirhodeisland.org. A Zoom link will be sent after registration.

This free session is available to anyone; the content is geared toward adults with middle or high school aged youth. In the presentation, participants will learn the warning signs of mental health conditions, facts and statistics, how to talk with your child about these conditions, and how to work with school staff.

The presentation includes two speakers: one who shares an informative presentation, and a young adult with a mental health condition who shares their journey of recovery. Audience members can ask questions and gain understanding of an often-misunderstood topic.

On May 12, NAMI will present “Ending the Silence for School Staff” from 4 to 5 p.m. Pre-registration is preferred. Please email your name, city/town, phone number, and email address to beth@namirhodeisland.org. A Zoom link will be sent after registration.

This free session is available to anyone; the content is geared towards teachers, administrators, and school staff of middle and high school students. In the presentation, participants will learn facts, statistics, and warning signs of mental illness, as well as how to approach students and work with their families. It includes two speakers: one who shares an informative, research-based presentation, and one who is a young adult with a mental health condition, who speaks on their journey of recovery.

NAMI’s “Ending the Silence for Students” will be held on May 17 from 6 to 7 p.m. Pre-registration is preferred. Please email your name, city/town, phone number, and email address to beth@namirhodeisland.org. A Zoom link will be sent after registration.

This free session is available to anyone; the content is geared towards middle and high school students, on how to get help for themselves or a friend. In the presentation, participants will learn facts, statistics, and warning signs of mental illness, as well as how to talk to individuals, parents, and school staff. It includes two speakers: one who shares an informative, research-based presentation, and one who is a young adult with a mental health condition, who speaks on their journey of recovery.

Cranston Public Library movie discussion

Join the Cranston Public Library’s movie discussion group on Wednesday, May 19, from 6:30 through 7:30 p.m. to discuss “Bicycle Thieves” (1948). Watch the movie on Kanopy with your Cranston library card and then get together with fellow movie lovers to discuss on Zoom. Free and open to the public. Register at www.cranstonlibrary.org/movie-group.

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 www.cognitoforms.com/CCAPL2E/summer2021realskillsforyouth or call the Cranston Skills & Youth Center at (401) 525-0869.

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 johndoneganforcranston@gmail.com 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 www.cranstonlibrary.org/homebound-services.

Mortgage Assistance

Were you affected by COVID-19 and having trouble making your mortgage? The city of Cranston, through the Department of Community Development and in partnership with CCAP, has funds 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.

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 www.ow.ly/8Pfg50EgBG0.

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 lbeliveau@comcap.org.

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.

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 jtate@gpymca.org.

Stamp Farms fundraiser for West Bay Chorale

On Thursday, May 13, and Friday, May 14, Stamp Farms, located at 219 Comstock Parkway in Cranston, will take part in a fundraiser for the West Bay Chorale.

Customers who mention West Bay Chorale at checkout when making a purchase at Stamp Farms those days will have a portion of their purchase donated to the Chorale. Items available include a variety of annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, hanging baskets and mixed containers.

West Bay Chorale is an intergenerational chorus that provides the community with secular and sacred performances. To learn more, visit www.westbaychorale.org.

For more about Stamp Farms, visit www.stampfarms.com.

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 www.comcap.org.

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 www.rihousing.com/hhfri.

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 www.BeKindRI.org. 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 nicholas.nicholsonjr@gmail.com.

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 www.apply.comcap.org.

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 info@comcap.org or call (401) 467-7013.

Did you know?

The traditional May Breakfast is held each year on May 1. Here is some history on how it began in Cranston! Many states have bean suppers, pancake breakfasts and strawberry festivals, but Rhode Island is known for May Breakfasts.

The May Breakfast tradition began in 1867 at the Old Quaker Meeting House, the first church in Cranston, in Oaklawn. Mrs. Ruby King Wilbur, president of the Searle’s Corner Benevolent Society, originated the event to raise funds for a new building, borrowing the idea from the English May Day celebration. 466 people attended the first May Breakfast, helping to raise $155.50.

To submit your news from the community, email Meri R. Kennedy at CranstonChatter@aol.com. 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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