Windsor Education Foundation Welcomes New Directors
WINDSOR — Windsor Education Foundation, a grant-making organization for Windsor's public school educators, has appointed three new board members to its Board of Directors. They are Nuchette Black-Burke, Aimee Dion Crisanti, and Mary Kay Ravenola.
Nuchette Black-Burke is a lifelong resident of Windsor, a graduate of the public schools, and a wife and mother of two young boys. Elected to the Windsor Board of Education in 2015, Black-Burke chairs the curriculum and technology committees, and she sits on the Capital Region Education Council. She is also a credentialed minister at Rehoboth Church of God in Bloomfield and she serves as the Youth and Discipleship Director and the coordinator for the Angel Tree Project, that serves children of incarcerated families.
Aimee Dion Crisanti and her husband have called Windsor home since 1990, raising two sons that attended and graduated from Windsor Public Schools. During their school years, she served as president of both Clover Street School PTA and Windsor High School PTSA. Professionally, Crisanti has worked at LEGO Systems, Inc. since 1993 and is currently Director of Project Excellence.
Mary Kay Ravenola has served as Principal of John F. Kennedy School in Windsor since 2012. Previously, she was an educator in Holyoke and East Longmeadow, Mass., and Windsor Locks, where she currently lives with her husband. She was an active parent in Suffield public schools, where her children attended, as well as other non-profits in town.
Windsor School Student Named Finalist
WINDSOR — Windsor Public Schools' Clover Street School student A'aliyah Grimes is one of seven final candidates in the 2017 Statewide Election for the office of 2018 Connecticut's Kid Governor℠. The candidates have been nominated by the fifth graders in their schools and completed the necessary paperwork qualifying them to run for office.
Each candidate has created a campaign video outlining why he or she wants to be Connecticut's Kid Governor; what leadership qualities he/she has; what community issue is important to him or her and why; and a three-point plan outlining ways for Connecticut 5th graders to make a difference around that issue. A'aliyah's community issue is bullying.
Fifth grade students in registered classrooms will watch these videos carefully and use the Analyzing Campaign Videos and Speeches worksheet to study the candidates' platforms and inform their vote during the Statewide Election. The Statewide Election was Nov. 6 to 14. Each registered 5th-grade student was entitled to one vote. Visit CT.KidGovernor.org for more information and to watch the videos.
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.
STAR Assessment Workshop
WINDSOR — A STAR Early Literacy Family Workshop for Windsor families to better understanding their child's Grade K assessment will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, at Oliver Ellsworth School, 730 Kennedy Road. Food and childcare will be provided. Visit https://goo.gl/forms/j4IjWJU2CAuAu8gU2 to register.
Christmas At The Ellsworth's
WINDSOR — All are invited to experience the history and charm of an old New England Christmas from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2, at the historic Oliver Ellsworth Homestead, 778 Palisado Ave.
Built in 1781, the Homestead will be decked out the for the holiday with period décor, food and clothing typical of the mid-19th century. Sponsored by the Ellsworth Memorial Association and the Connecticut DAR, cost to attend is $10 per adult and $5 per child. On Friday, seniors may attend for $2.
WINDSOR — The following events will take place at the Windsor Public Library, 323 Broad St. For more information, visit www.windsorlibrary.com or call 860-285-1914.
Edward Leonard's Fun with Rhythms: Wednesday, Nov. 29, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., for children ages 5-11 years old. This is an educational drum and music circle will include playing interactive rhythm games with drums and other handheld percussion instruments. Registration is required.
Little Time Travelers: Children ages 3- to 5-year-olds may attend from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, as the library goes traveling back in time to hear about Columbus and the new world. Stories, songs, crafts and sensory activities will be part of the program. Registration is required.
Cookies With Santa
WINDSOR — Cookies with Santa with the Windsor Junior Woman's Club will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at the Windsor Fire Station, 340 Bloomfield Ave.
The event will feature cookies, hot cocoa, a visit from Santa Claus, trying on firefighter gear, the opportunity to write a letter to Santa Claus and make a holiday craft. Donations will be accepted at the door and will help support local charities and programs.
Windsor Art Events
WINDSOR — The Windsor Art Center will be hosting a sculpture show entitled Imagers in Conversation. The two sculptors featured in this exhibition are Delois Barnes and James Buxton. Both individually and together, their works spark and engage dialogue around societal issues. For more information, visit www.windsorartcenter.org or call 860-688-2526.
The exhibition runs through Dec. 23 at The Windsor Art Center, 40 Mechanic St. An Artist Talk presented by both artists, discussing their creative journey as sculptors in the 21st century, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 2 to 3 p.m.
Gallery hours are Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Art, Jazz, and Food at the Windsor Train Station with resident and visiting artists LeaAnn Cogswell, Cathy Doocy, Andres Chaparro, Joe Sam, Charlene Li, Kassie Huhtanen, and Robert Noreika will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1.
Film Night: An old-fashioned movie night with popcorn and pizza. Free. A film about a renowned master artist who sculpts out of blown glass. Saturday, Dec. 9, from noon to 2 p.m.
Workshop: Cards that Pop, 3-D card-making workshop. Participants take home three handcrafted cards. Class held at the Windsor Art Center Studios. Class size limited to 10. $35 includes materials. Instructor: Meckla Pinnix-Clark.
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.
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.
Senior Center News
WINDSOR — The Windsor Senior Center 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.
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.