WINDSOR — As part of the Windsor Board of Education's process of examining the proposed budget, several public forums for town residents have been scheduled.
Windsor Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Craig Cooke will present his 2018-19 proposed budget to the Board of Education on Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 6:30 p.m. in the Windsor Town Hall Council Chambers, 275 Broad St. Following the presentation, there will be a public forum and regular board meeting.
Additional public forums on the Superintendent's proposed budget will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 6 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 27, at 10 a.m.; and Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 6 p.m. in the Board Room of the L.P Wilson Community Center, 601 Matianuck Ave.
For more information about the public forums or the Windsor Public Schools 2017-2018 budget, visit www.windsorct.org or call the Superintendent's Office at 860-687-2000, ext. 236.
Prosser Library Events
BLOOMFIELD — Prosser Public Library, 1 Tunxis Ave., is offering the following event. Chill Out & Knit: 3:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 28. New members of all ages and experience are welcome to drop in and join this group of knitters in the Community Room. Knitters will guide one another with creative new projects or tinkering with an old one. No registration required.
WINDSOR LOCKS — Come to the Windsor Locks Public Library, 28 Main St., to find the holiday crafts makerspace boxes for adults. Check one out, find a quiet corner in the library, then relax with some holiday-inspired coloring or create your own unique gift tags or cards. All materials are included in the boxes, and the boxes are available at the circulation desk. Contact the library at 860-627-1495 for more information. The boxes will be available throughout the holiday season.
Windsor Library Events
WINDSOR — Windsor Public Library, 323 Broad St., is hosting the following events.
Toe Jam Puppet Band Winter Variety Show: Wednesday, Dec. 27, from 1 to 2 p.m. Watch Vinny the extraordinary puppet that blows a snowstorm through his nose, a penguin line dance and of course interactive songs, dances and a puppet show. All ages. Registration is required so call 860-285-1914 or stop in to sign up.
Blizzards: Outwit the Elements. Friday, Dec. 29, from 1 to 2 p.m. The Windsor Public Library is hosting the Boston Museum of Science for Blizzards: Outwit the Elements. This hands-on workshop gives participants a chance to plan, build and test tree house designs against the forces of nature. Open to grades K and up. Space is limited so registration is required.
WinCal Website Launches
WINDSOR — WinCal.org is Windsor's new online community calendar where you can find everything there is to do in Windsor, all in one place. Listings include school events, local business happenings and town events and programs. You'll be able to easily find the information you need by searching the calendar by date, age group or categories such as entertainment, sports, travel or educational.
Extreme Couponer Wanted
WINDSOR — Windsor Social Services is looking to offer an extreme couponing workshop for community members. Do you coupon shop? Are you saving money each week using coupons? Are you getting free items from the grocery store and want to share with others your secret to coupon shopping? Social Services would like to talk to you. Call Debbie Sheldon at 860-285-1839.
Windsor Senior Center Activities
WINDSOR — The Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Ave., released the following information. For more information, call 860-285-1992.
The Windsor Senior Center presents a Bermuda Cruise on the Norwegian Dawn on April 20-27, 2018. Costs are as follows: Inside state room: $1299 pp; Ocean view: $1459 pp; Balcony: $1799 pp. First deposit due at time of reservation of $450, plus optional travel insurance. Final payment due on February 1, 2018. Call 860-285-1992 for more information.
The Windsor Senior Center is located at 599 Matianuck Ave. and can be reached at 860-285-1992. Visit www.townofwindsorct.com/seniorservices for more information.
The AARP Driver Safety Course for seniors age 55 and older will be held on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Windsor Senior Center Lounge. Space is limited to 20 students. You may be eligible for a discount on your insurance after completing this refresher course. Cost is $20 or $15 with AARP membership, payable with cash or check on the day of the class. Call 860-285-1992 to register.
There are still seats left for the UCONN Women's Basketball Game on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at the XL Center in Hartford. Tickets cost $25 and include game, round trip transportation from the Windsor Senior Center, and parking. The bus leaves the center at 11:30 a.m. and will return by 4:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, call 860-285-1992.
Audible Art For People With Disabilities
NEW BRITAIN — CRIS Radio, a 39-year-old nonprofit based in Windsor, and New Britain Museum of American Art, are working together to offer visitors with low-vision or other print disabilities a new way to access selected masterpieces at the museum.
The program, called CRISAccess, offers on-demand audio versions of print information and audio descriptions of selected masterpieces displayed at the NBMAA through a personal smart phone that scans QR (Quick Response) Codes. The QR Codes link the phone to an audio version of an exhibit sign and audio description of the masterpiece, typically lasting less than three-minutes.
National studies report that only 11-percent of people with disabilities visit museums. The collaboration between the two nonprofits provide a low-cost and simple approach to enhance the visitor experience for people with visual or other print disabilities. CRIS Radio based its CRISAccess program on the recommendations of a focus group comprised of people with visual disabilities convened by the Smithsonian.
All CRISAccess recordings feature human narration provided by CRIS Radio volunteers. Funding for this pilot program comes from the American Savings Foundation.
Community Action Agencies Accepting Energy Assistance Applications
AREA — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services just released $67,255,113 in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding. This amount is 90-percent of LIHEAP funds allocated for the State of Connecticut.
Connecticut residents struggling to pay their utility bills this winter can apply for home heating assistance through Connecticut's Community Action Agency Network. The Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are the only nonprofit agencies administering LIHEAP, which provides home heating assistance to Connecticut's most vulnerable residents. Each CAA has application intake sites throughout their service regions. Some sites may include local town halls, and customers should check with their local CAA for a complete site listing.
In Connecticut this program is called the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) and is housed under the Department of Social Services (DSS). The state's Community Action Agencies administer the $74M+ program locally in all 169 cities and towns. CAAs are now accepting CEAP applications for the 2017-2018 winter season and expect more applications in the coming weeks, especially as temperatures begin to drop. Homeowners and/or renters may apply, and funds may be used to pay for whatever source of heating residents have in their homes. This includes wood, electric, oil, kerosene, or natural gas.
CAAs will certify oil deliveries starting Wednesday, Nov. 15, for those who heat with oil, propane, and deliverable fuels. May 1, 2018, is the last day households can apply for benefits unless the household is utility heated and has a shut off notice for its primary source of heat. May 15, 2018 is the last day a utility heated household with a shut off notice for its primary source of heat can apply for benefits.
Another protection for Connecticut's struggling families is the utility moratorium, or winter hardship, which provides protection for eligible households against heat source shut-offs between November 1st and May 1st. Gas and electric utilities cannot be shut off (summer or winter) if lack of the utility creates a life-threatening situation. If a customer is having trouble paying their utility bills during the winter moratorium period, Community Action Agencies will work with them on affordable utility payment programs, including the Matching Payment Program (MPP) and Below Budget Payment Plans. MPP is a payment incentive program that allows eligible utility customers to maintain year-round electric and gas service and pay an agreed-upon amount each month to pay down the balance on their heating bill. If customers cannot afford the utility payment plan, CAAs work with the customer and can submit a Below Budget Payment Plan based on the household income and expenses.
A CEAP benefit to a household automatically makes that household eligible for weatherization services. So, in addition to heating assistance, CAAs will refer customers to those agencies providing weatherization services, which helps minimize energy-related costs and fuel usage in homes through retrofits and home improvement measures. Additionally, there are funds available this year through the CAA for heating system repair and replacement if such services are deemed necessary and as the amount of funds allocated allow. Lastly, when a customer comes to a CAA for energy assistance, the agency will also assist customers in accessing other benefits for which they may be eligible including SNAP and other food programs, financial counseling, child care, and case management.
Connecticut's poorest families struggle each and every year to heat their homes in this a state with one of the highest utility rates in the country; customers many times having to choose between heating and eating or heating and paying for their medicines. CEAP allows them to not only cover high home energy costs and keep warm during the cold winter months, but gives low-income families the opportunity to address other critical, basic needs, rather than having to choose between them. Any resident who needs help paying their heating bill this winter should contact their Community Action Agency immediately.
For more information on Connecticut's Energy Assistance Program, how to find your local CAA to apply, or to make a donation, visit www.cafca.org or contact the Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA), 144 Clinton Street, New Britain, CT, 06053, 860-832-9438.
Special Needs Hockey Team Recruiting New Players
AREA — The Connecticut Chasers, an ice hockey team for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, is recruiting new players for the 2017-18 season, running from Nov. 4, through March 10, 2018.
Weekly practices are at Simsbury Farms Skating Rink in Simsbury from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The team is looking for players of all abilities and skill levels ages 8 and up. "Learn to Skate" sessions are offered for those new to the ice.
Prospective players and their families are invited to attend a practice to see the fun for themselves. Some equipment is available to borrow for anyone who wants to try a practice session before joining.
Athletes from throughout the Greater Hartford Area and beyond are welcome. Current players are from Avon, Canton, Ellington, Farmington, Glastonbury, Simsbury, South Windsor, and Windsor.
The Chasers were founded in 1997 by former Hartford Whaler Kelly Chase and the Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress to provide a team experience for the players while helping them improve their self-esteem, social skills, gross motor skills and coordination. The team is a proud member of the American Special Hockey Association and Special Hockey International.
Last season, the Chasers had the honor of serving as "Blue Line Buddies" for the Hartford Wolf Pack, standing on the ice with the team during the National Anthem before a game at the XL Center. The Chasers are looking for similar opportunities this season.
The team also has scrimmages with the Southern Connecticut Storm of Bridgeport and the East Coast Jumbos of Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Email Ctchasershockey@gmail.com for more information.
Phipps And Schoelzel Scholarships
AREA — The GFWC Windsor Woman's Club, on behalf of the General Federal of Women's Clubs in Connecticut, is now accepting applications for both the Phipps Memorial Scholarship and the Dorothy E. Schoelzel Scholarship. These funds are available to enable Connecticut women to pursue advanced courses of study in accredited institutions of learning.
Phipps Scholarship candidates must have completed two or more years of undergraduate work, matriculating for a Bachelor's degree or a postgraduate degree with a 3.0 grade point average or better.
Candidates for the Schoelzel Scholarship must have completed three or more year's undergraduate work in an accredited institution of higher learning with a 3.0 grade point average or better. This scholarship is intended for those matriculating for a Bachelor's degree or a postgraduate degree in the field of Education.
For an application for either scholarship, please call Mary at 860-683-0347 before Feb. 1, 2018.
WINDSOR — C.A.R.E.S. is collecting new winter socks to be distributed this holiday season to those in need. New socks can be dropped off at Social Services at LP Wilson Community Center, 599 Matianuck Ave. Anyone with questions may call Deb at 860-285-1839.
Police Cadets Seeking Role Players
WINDSOR — The Windsor Police Cadets are seeking paid role players to assist at law enforcement training classes from September through May, as needed on evenings and weekends. Role players shall be compensated as follows: $25 for three to four hours and $50 for six hours.
To be considered, candidates must be a minimum 18 years of age. Advisors, members, and parents/guardians of members are ineligible. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Senior Cadet Patrick Dowd at 860-593-7808. A criminal history check and waiver are required.
Preschool Opportunities Provide Subsidies
WINDSOR — The Windsor School Readiness Council is seeking children, three or four years of age, to attend First Church Early Learning Center, which is a National Association for the Education of Young Children accredited preschool program.
School Readiness is a state initiative designed to provide children with a high quality preschool experience and support their social, emotional and academic development. Windsor families who meet income eligibility guidelines may apply for subsidized full time preschool placements that are available for the fall of 2017.
Applications for Windsor's School Readiness program are accepted on an ongoing basis. They encourage families to apply as soon as possible, as opportunities are limited. For more information or to make an appointment, email JCogswell@windsorct.org.
Golden Fellowship Club Trips
WINDSOR — The Golden Fellowship Club is offering the following trip. All trips depart from the Windsor Senior Center north parking lot, 599 Matianuck Ave. For more information, call Pauline at 860-758-7378 or Donna at 860-335-7069.
April 21 - 29: 2018 Celebrity Caribbean cruise on Celebrity Summit. Fly to San Juan and spend eight nights on board. Visit St Maarten, St Thomas and Bermuda onboard activities. Cost to attend is $1,299 per person.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
WINDSOR — Are you a grandparent raising or caring for your grandchildren? Windsor Social Services is interested in hearing from you concerning your experiences and challenges. Staff are aware of many blended families in town and would like to offer support and assistance if needed. Do you have specific needs that are not being met? Social Services can help. Call Deb Sheldon at 860-285-1839.
WINDSOR — Two black Honda car keys were reported lost in the Windsor area. Store tags are attached. Call 860-690-3003.
Nutmeg Senior Rides
AREA — Nutmeg Senior Rides provides door through door transportation for seniors and the visually impaired in North Central Connecticut, and now has the online capability for volunteers to pick the rides that fit their schedule.
Volunteer drivers help riders shop and pick out their items, go to doctor appointments, bingo, lunch with friends and more. Mileage for drivers is reimbursed at 40-cents per mile.
Volunteer drivers are needed for expanded service in Bloomfield, East Granby, East Windsor, Enfield, Granby, Somers, South Windsor, Suffield, Windsor, and Windsor Locks.
Applications to become a driver are available at www.NutmegSeniorRides.org or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, call Executive Director Margaret Smith Hale at 860-758-7833.
Professional Development Experts Sought
WINDSOR — Windsor School Readiness is looking for highly trained, degreed individuals with an expertise in hands-on math and science lesson planning for the preschool-aged child.
This individual would make on-site center visits to assist with implementing standard based math and science activities in centers within classrooms, provide tailored professional feedback and ideas to use in the classroom and arrange for a follow-up professional development training for staff. Must have own transportation and a flexible schedule.
Interested parties can send a resume to ARacht@windsorct.org.
Groceries To Go
WINDSOR — Groceries To Go is a supplemental grocery program for seniors. Participants can choose from a variety of easy to prepare and nutritious food items and educational materials every other Friday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Windsor Senior Center, 599 Matianuck Ave.
Applicants must be 60 or older, reside in a household that meets income guidelines, and be a resident of the town of Windsor. For more information or to fill out an application, contact Windsor Social Services at 860-285-1839. Those who are homebound may contact Deb Sheldon, at Windsor Social Services, at the above number.
Youth Services Bureau
WINDSOR — The Windsor Youth Services Bureau is offering babysitter's training, first aid, and CPR training for youth and a home alone safety class. Contact the Youth Services Coordinator at 860-285-1990 with any questions.
Fine Art Classes
WINDSOR — The Windsor Art Center Studios, 35 Central St., will offer eight different art classes and a Saturday workshop. Classes include cartooning for teenagers, clay sculpture, pastel painting, pen and ink drawing, watercolors, hand-painted collages, oil painting, and creating art with gourds. For additional info, visit http://www.windsorartcenter.org or call 860-508-3186.
Windsor School Readiness Search
WINDSOR — Windsor School Readiness is looking for NAEYC accredited and/or Head Start programs that are interested in becoming program providers for School Readiness children and families.
If you are interested in becoming a School Readiness program provider, call Amanda Racht at 860-687-2070, ext. 229.
Bereavement Support Group
WINDSOR — Mary's Place, A Center for Grieving Children & Families, 6 Poquonock Ave., has free support groups that meet twice a month. Visit marysplacect.org or call Brittany, at 860-688-9621, for details.
Kiwanis Club Meetings
WINDSOR — The Kiwanis Club of Windsor, a service organization which brings aid to children in need, meets every Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. at Jim's Pizza, 124 Poquonock Ave. in Windsor. Visit windsorkiwanis.org.
Dementia Caregivers Support Group
BLOOMFIELD — The Dementia Caregivers Support Group, held at Duncaster on the last Monday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to noon, meets in the Hospitality Room at Duncaster, 30 Loeffler Road. Facilitators are Michelle Wyman, LSW, CDP, and Sara Therion, MSW. For more information or to register, call Michelle at 860-276-5399, ext. 4404 or Sara at 860-380-5012.