Cranston Chatter

Posted 5/19/21

By MERI R. KENNEDY Summer camp scholarships The collaborative efforts of the OneCranston Health Equity Zone, the Youth Opportunity Zone and Summer committees are happy to present the YOZ Scholarship Application! From now until Monday, May 31, the YOZ

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Cranston Chatter


Summer camp scholarships

The collaborative efforts of the OneCranston Health Equity Zone, the Youth Opportunity Zone and Summer committees are happy to present the YOZ Scholarship Application! From now until Monday, May 31, the YOZ Scholarship is collecting applications from any K-12 Cranston resident in need.

COVID-19 has been difficult on us all, but collaboration creates new opportunities for Cranston. Any Cranston family planning to attend Cranston's Park and Recreation's Playground Camps for any sites, Cranston 21st CCLC’s Camp XL, Ocean State Kidz Club, the Cranston YMCA, the Cranston Summer Learning Initiative’s STEM Advantage, Global Science and Envirotech’s Green STEAM and Explorer Center Program can apply for full and partial scholarships to attend camp this summer.

You can find the YOZ Scholarship application online by following OneCranston Health Equity Zone on Facebook, or contact Caitlyn Blankenship at for the direct scholarship link and any questions.

Foster Parrots Sanctuary benefit at Pet Supplies Plus

Three Rhode Island Pet Supplies Plus locations, including the stores at 171 Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston and 1663 Mineral Spring Ave. in North Providence, will host fundraising events on Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23, to benefit Foster Parrots Sanctuary.

Those stores, along with the Narragansett location, will be collecting bird chew toys for donation along with monetary funds at checkout. The donations and funds will go to help the Foster Parrots Rescue rebuild after a tragic four-alarm fire destroyed a third of its building in Hopkinton in early April. Neighbors who choose to donate will be entered in raffle drawings for several gift baskets donated from business around the community.

Founded in 1989, Foster Parrots, Ltd. Is the largest avian rescue organization in the northeast. Accredited by The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, Foster Parrots are a founding member of the country’s leading avian advocacy and information organization, The Avian Welfare Coalition.

The fundraiser runs all day Saturday and Sunday. To learn more, visit

Bridging the Gaps 2021

Bridging the Gaps 2021, the annual conference of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Rhode Island, will be held virtually on Wednesday, May 26.

The program will begin at 9 a.m. with keynote speaker Taylor Bryan Turner, assistant regional administrator, SAMHSA, New England. Turner will speak on her lived experience as a family member who has lived through gun violence, found resiliency, and the intersection of mental illness and the opioid crisis. She will also provide a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) overview and the need to weave mental health supports in all areas of human services, as evidenced by the pandemic.

The conference will also feature: panel on mental health interventions in law enforcement response; a session from Sherman Gillums Jr., chief strategy and operations officer, NAMI National Office, regarding justice, equity, diversity and inclusion; an evening session on mental health in youth, led by Elizabeth Lange, MD FAAP, and Kayla David, LMFT; breakout sessions on new and developing Rhode Island programs, advocacy issues related to building a better statewide mental health system, peer perspectives; and more.

The conference is free to NAMI members and costs $10 for non-members. To learn more and to register, visit

Get SWEAT in Garden City Center

Starting Saturday, May 22, Garden City Center is kicking off its new fitness series, Garden City SWEAT.

Each week will involve outdoor group workout classes led by instructors from the local fitness community, including CORE Studios and Haven Fitness. There will be different styles and intensities, so there’s something for yogis, HIIT-lovers and everything in between.

Register and learn more at

Spring Craft & Vendor Show

The St. Mary’s Feast Society Ladies’ Auxiliary will hold a Spring Craft & Vendor Show on Saturday, June 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the St. Mary's Feast Society building on Phenix Avenue.

Vendors are asked to contact the St. Mary’s Feast Ladies Auxiliary or Maria Manzi for more information. Find the organization on Facebook.

Waste Management Career Day

Waste Management is hosting its annual Career Day, a hiring event opportunity that seeks to fill driver and technician positions across North America. Locally, hiring day will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, May 21, at Waste Management’s Cranston facility at 1610 Pontiac Ave.

During this on-site hiring event, the company will interview to immediately fill driver and technician career opportunities. Candidates are encouraged to apply beforehand, and if qualified, will be scheduled for onsite interviews. Certified drivers and technicians can easily pre-register for WM Career Day at Once on the website, candidates can search for job opportunities in their area and submit an online application in advance.

To pre-register, candidates can apply to any of the featured jobs. For those that can’t preregister online, walk-in candidates will be interviewed depending on qualifications and manager availability. Candidates could be hired on the spot. Appropriate COVID-19 protocols will be followed.

Library updates COVID building guidelines

The Cranston Public Library is happy to announce that in accordance with state guidance, it has updated its building use guidelines.

The library system has made the following changes:

* Seating and study tables are now available at all locations

* Newspapers are available at all locations

* Reservations are no longer required for computer use, and computer use is increased to two hours per day

* The Seminar Room at the Central library may now be booked by outside groups

Mask wearing for all library patrons over 2 years old, and physical distancing (3 feet distance) is still required inside the city’s libraries. If you are sick or experiencing any symptoms of illness, we ask you that you refrain from entering the library at this time.

All Cranston Public Library locations are open regular hours for browsing, computer use, reference help and holds pickup.

For additional information, visit

Update on city’s Playground Program

Registration is now open for the Cranston Parks and Recreation Playground Program. Capacity at each camp location will be limited to 20 campers per week. Children must be registered for the entire week in order to maintain stable groups. No day rates are available.

This year, the department will take registration electronically through a Google Form link to be provided at the start of registration. The link will be posted on the department’s Facebook page first, and then on the department website,

Once you complete the form, the department will be in touch to confirm your registration and send an invoice for the amount owed. If a site is full, you will be placed on a waiting list. Open slots will be filled from the wait list based on the time stamp of the registration form.

No payment will be due at the time of registration. You will receive an invoice via email. Payment must be made by June 25 by cash, check or money order. The office will be open to make payments only. Questions about camp should be made by email or phone to avoid crowds. Failure to pay could affect your child’s ability to attend camp.

Camp counselor jobs

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department will be accepting summer job applications for camp counselors 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 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

Plenty of treasures at yard sale

The Caroline Caprio Scholarship & Giving Fund will be holding a large Yard Sale to help raise funds to assist Rhode Island families struggling with a brain tumor diagnosis. All of the proceeds will be used to provide financial assistance and emotional support to brain tumor patients and caregivers.

The event will be held at 3284 West Shore Road in Warwick on Saturday, May 22, from 8 a.m. through 2 p.m.

Come browse and purchase all kinds of household and personal items, such as furniture, collectibles, jewelry, handbags, adult and children's clothing, sports equipment, tools, pet supplies and toys, rugs, lamps, decorative pillows, comforters and sheet sets, kitchen decor and utensils, toys, nautical décor, Christmas decor and decorations, and much more.

Mask wearing and social distancing guidelines will be in place. The rain date is the following week on May 29. If you cannot make the yard sale, consider donating at

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.

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

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.

Thinking of homeschooling?

The Cranston Public Library will be holding an online presentation with veteran teacher and homeschool expert Linda Hincks on Monday, May 24, at 6:30 a.m. For further information and to register, visit

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.

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

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.

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.

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 467-7013.

Did you know?

Ways to honor our fallen heroes this Memorial Day include to pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. for the National Moment of Remembrance. (Source: Memorial Day 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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