2nd Annual Road Rally Continues CAP’s Mission

By Charles Pritchard, Oneida Daily Dispatch www.oneidadailydispatch.com

Canastota, N.Y. — Drivers revved their engines for the Community Action Partnership of Madison County’s second annual Road Rally Saturday.

“CAP is certainly helping to build a stronger community here in Madison County,” Congressman Anthony Brindisi, D-22, said. “Whether it’s early childhood education, housing or food assistance programs, it’s very important we support organizations like this because they’re dealing with our most vulnerable populations.”

On Saturday, May 18, the Road Rally fundraiser invited residents to come out with their cars and ride through Madison County, all while participating in a scavenger hunt for a chance to win a prize basket.

One driver said CAP staff put in work to make the scavenger hunt harder than last year, with clues getting more cryptic the further into the drive participants were.

The route takes drivers around Madison County, from Chittenango and Cazenovia to Canastota and Wampsville. Brindisi was invited to wave the checkered flag, kicking off the rally.

But before that, residents were given a quick tour and shown the variety of the services offered by CAP and what the future holds.

A number of displays offered residents a look into various CAP programs and its participants, such as the youth mentoring program, early Head Start, and supportive services, to name a few.

Brindisi said he’s appreciative of early childhood education programs, saying they help put a person a path for a better future.

“We’re always looking for what else we can add to the list of services,” CAP Executive Director Antara Mitra said. “We just started a coaching program called ‘Getting Started.’ We help people develop soft skills and get employment.”

Mitra said the six-week class teaches people not just how to get employed, but how to stay employed. This is accomplished by teaching communication skills, how to work collaboratively, public speaking and other skills needed in the new modern-day economy, Mitra said.

While being shown around the office, Brindisi got a look at the housing behind the CAP office in Canastota, used for the transitional housing program.

On the CAP website, a client by the name “Heather” said she moved into transitional housing on Feb. 16. “Community Action helped with not only housing, but clothing, birth certificates, referrals, rides, advocating, and so much more,” she said. “I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for this program.”

Without a homeless shelter in Madison County, it’s up to agencies like CAP to help, whether it be transitional housing or a pair of mittens for the winter.

“It’s vitally important,” Brindisi said. “We’re seeing an uptick in homelessness all over the country and in our backyard. And we want to make sure we have the resources on the ground to assist people and help them get back on their feet.”

To learn how to donate, volunteer or apply for CAP programs, visit https://capmadco.org or call 315-684-3144.

CAP launches new life skills, professional development program

The Community Action Program for Madison County, Inc. (CAP) has announced the launch of Getting Started — a 10-week course to help Madison County youths succeed in the workplace.

The free program will run April 17 through June 19 at CAP’s Canastota office, 1001 New Market Drive.

CAP’s new program is designed to provide participants with the soft skills needed to find and retain jobs in the changing economy. During each interactive session, held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, participants will work as a team on a variety of projects.

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Community Action awarded grant for infant and toddler literacy

Oneida, N.Y. — Community Action Partnership has received a $2,500 grant for its Infant/Toddler Literacy Development program to help train family support workers on strategies and techniques to promote literacy with the families they serve.

CAP officials say scores in the area of language and literacy are typically lower in homes in poverty or those experiencing difficult stressors and the trend has been true in the Early Head Start program over the last three years. Coaches trained in The Reading League methods will provide three training sessions to the family support workers who will then work with these strategies with the families they serve in Madison County.

Community Action is one of four local groups in Madison County that were awarded program grants recently for their literacy efforts. The grants were distributed by the Literacy Coalition of Madison County (LCMC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving literacy in the county.

The Literacy Coalition facilitates literacy improvement in the county through collaboration with the many dedicated businesses, schools, libraries and agencies who serve the needs of the area.

Coordinator Dyann Nashton said the Literacy Coalition of Madison County offers Madison County Reads Ahead, a free one-on-one tutoring program to help adults get high school equivalency diplomas.

The Coalition also facilitates the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, offered in county libraries and a few school libraries. The coalition, which is supported in large part by the Central New York Community Foundation, is placing a special focus this year on financial and digital literacy for adults as well as kindergarten readiness.

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Code Blue Warming Sites Across Madison County Prepare for Winter

By the Oneida Dispatch newsroom@oneidadispatch.com


With cold weather approaching soon, the Community Action Partnership for Madison County has partnered with local libraries and the Office for the Aging to establish warming sites for the homeless.

CAP officials advise homeless individuals and families to seek shelter at a warming center located at either the Hamilton Library, Cazenovia Library, Sullivan Free Library, Chittenango Library, Bridgeport Library, Canastota Library or the Office for the Aging when a Code Blue is declared.

Three years ago, through an executive order signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state declared a county must make sure anyone in need of assistance has shelter when winter weather hits. This includes temperatures that reach freezing or lower, wind chill below zero degrees, ice storms, freezing rain or more than 6 inches of snow.

Each warming site has a sign in their entryway that identifies their location as such. CAP equips each location with detailed resource folders, refreshments and “go bags” to provide those who identify as homeless with necessary supplies for hygiene, warmth and wellness.

CAP officials said in nine months, the organization has received 695 calls for housing and homelessness issues in the community.

CAP officials said in just one week after opening, they have received a lot of positive feedback from the newly established warming sites.

“The library is very pleased to be a part of the Code Blue initiative,” Cazenovia Public Library Director Betsy Kennedy said. “For many people, the library represents a safe place and a place that has the answers to their questions. We appreciate Community Action Partnership giving us the tools to assist people when they need it most.”

Warming sites will continue to operate until March 31, 2019.

Organizations looking to get involved in being part of the Code Blue initiative can contact Sandra Bain at 315-697-3588 ext. 14.