ID theft-prevention workshop Oct. 29 at Resurrection Lutheran
“Identity Theft: What you need to know,” a free 50-minute workshop, created by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29 at Resurrection Lutheran Church, 610 N. C.R. 2, St. Joseph. The workshop is designed to help participants learn: how identity theft can occur, protection tips and steps to take if it happens. Identity theft can happen to anyone, anywhere at anytime. Don’t let it happen to you. Refreshments will be served. To reserve your spot, contact Debbie Clausen, CLTC, at 320-253-4382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early learning scholarships available to qualifying families
As the new school year swings into full gear, more of the state’s youngest learners will now have access to high-quality early education. Thanks to Governor Dayton and the Legislature’s $40-million investment during the next biennium in early education scholarships, more than 8,000 students will be given a better start.
Low-income families are now able to apply for a scholarship. The funds are available for students, aged three to five, with the highest needs in order to improve school readiness for all young children. Up to $5,000 per scholarship will be awarded. Scholarships may be used at any early childhood program participating in the Parent Aware Quality Rating System. The Parent Aware programs a family may choose include Head Start, school-based prekindergarten and preschool programs, and child-care programs.
To ensure balanced distribution of the scholarships, the Minnesota Department of Education spread out the money based on need to the state’s 13 economic development regions. Counties that will have access to scholarships include Benton, Stearns and Wright.
“Ensuring every child has access to early education opportunities is essential for closing gaps and placing each student on a path to success in college and career,” Commissioner Cassellius said. “I want to thank Governor Dayton and the Legislature for their support and incredible commitment to education.”
“The research is clear,” said Art Rolnick, senior fellow and co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. “The best economic investment the State of Minnesota can make is to provide its most vulnerable children with access to high-quality early childhood programs. The early childhood scholarships being made available to Minnesota’s children do just that. It’s a major step forward to ending inter-generational poverty and ensuring the future success of Minnesota’s economy.”
“Last year, the scholarships helped many families enroll their children in a program that otherwise would not have been possible,” Commissioner Cassellius said. “I’m excited to see this program expand, providing many more opportunities for children across the state. At the same time, these funds only meet approximately 9 percent of the need throughout Minnesota. I look forward to working with the governor and legislature to continue expanding these scholarships, breaking down barriers of access to high-quality programs.”
To see if your child is eligible for an early learning scholarship, families should contact their regional Scholarship Administrator. To locate a Parent Aware rated program in your area visit the Parent Aware website. For more information on MDE’s early learning scholarship program, visit education.state.mn.us and select Early Learning under the Just for Parents section.
United Way volunteer opportunities
Literacy and math tutors urgently needed in St. Cloud
Minnesota Reading Corps – the nation’s largest state AmeriCorps program – and Minnesota Math Corps are looking for full-time AmeriCorps tutors to begin a year of service in a St. Cloud area school immediately. Tutors not only change the world of kids who are struggling in school, they also grow their own professional skills and network. They help students grow toward becoming successful readers by the end of third grade, or toward math proficiency by the end of eighth grade. As a full-time tutor, you’ll receive training and get real experience. You’ll earn a biweekly living stipend of $480, an education award of $5,550 and can put federal student loans into forbearance while you serve. Apply today! Go to www.MinnesotaReadingCorps.org or www.MinnesotaMathCorps.org. Questions? Email email@example.com.
Babysitters for babies
As a volunteer babysitter, volunteers would provide care at New Beginnings for a baby while the mother is at school, work, appointments or programming. Babies range in age from birth to two years. You would usually be notified of opportunities at least one week in advance. Day and evening opportunities are available. They have many wonderful volunteers who lovingly play with and care for their babies. Come and be one of them! Babysitters can be either male or female, but must be at least 21 years old. They have an initial meeting to provide you with more information about New Beginnings. They will give you a tour of their home, and have you fill out an application and background study if you are interested in becoming a volunteer babysitter. There is no time commitment. Volunteer as much or as little as your schedule allows. Contact Jayme Revermann, volunteer coordinator, at 320-255-1252.
The Salvation Army needs help with janitorial duties
This will include cleaning general areas, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning door windows, public bathrooms and office trash. Hours and number of days are flexible but they will need enough people to cover the weekdays, Monday through Friday. Contact Barb, the Salvation Army volunteer coordinator, at 320-257-7435.
Help in the WACOSA thrift store
Provide upbeat, positive customer service to all who enter the WACOSA’s ThriftWorks! store. Volunteers will assist staff members with training clients on their job tasks, assuring jobs are completed to the quality standards of the store as directed by staff members. Volunteers will also handle supplies and equipment according to safety standards and maintenance procedures as directed by staff members. Additional responsibilities may include: managing donation dropoff, including assisting customers with accepting donations and providing receipts as directed by staff members, sorting and/or pricing donations as directed by staff members and operating cash register as directed by staff members. Contact Sarah Schulze, WACOSA’s volunteer coordinator, at 320-251-0087.
Readers for the blind
Central Minnesota Audio Newspapers provides volunteers (two every day except Saturday, when one volunteer is scheduled) to produce (select appropriate stories) and read the St. Cloud Times and surrounding area newspapers for the blind or print disabled. Reading is done at the KVSC Radio station in Stewart Hall, on the campus of St. Cloud State University. The State Services for the Blind provides radio receivers to listeners to receive the broadcasts. The group is headed by a volunteer coordinator who helps recruit and schedule readers. A testing/training coordinator tests potential readers and provides an orientation and training for those who pass the testing. (Reading test is evaluated by State Services for the Blind.) Volunteers read one-two times per month (schedule is flexible) and the commitment per time is three-four hours. Reading time is from 6-8 p.m. Sunday-Friday, 6-7 p.m. on Saturday. Some preparation time is required. This is a great volunteer opportunity for couples. Contact Rita Woeste, volunteer coordinator, at 320-293-2273.
For more information, contact Mary Krippner, United Way community volunteer coordinator, at 320-223-7991 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Enchanting Evening set Oct. 21 at River’s Edge
A whimsical journey to good health, sponsored by St. Cloud Hospital Women and Children’s Center, will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21 at River’s Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud. Wander upon an enchanted tea party and take in topics such as “Creating Your Own Happy Endings,” and “A New Image Doesn’t Have to Be a Fantasy.” The evening includes health screenings and door prizes. Must be present to win. Free. No registration required. For details, visit centracare.com or call 320-656-7021.
Time running out to take advantage of government program
Distressed homeowners in the Sartell and St. Joseph areas will soon no longer be able to take advantage of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. The law, enacted in 2007, helps distressed homeowners by relieving them of additional tax responsibility that often accompanies cancelled or forgiven debt.
The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act has provided opportunity for millions of distressed homeowners in the marketplace to take advantage of short sales or loan modifications without worrying how these actions will affect their future finances. The law is set to expire at the end of 2013 and time is running short for homeowners with unaffordable mortgages to take advantage of its benefits.
Stearns County wants input on Child Care Plan
Stearns County has a draft of the 2014-15 Child Care Plan completed and available for public review and comment.
The Child Care Assistance Program helps working families with the cost of child care. Parents may also be enrolled in two-year or four-year post-secondary school program to participate in the Child Care Assistance Program. The amount of assistance is based on the income of the parents and the child care fee is based on a basic sliding-fee scale. On average in any particular month, this program serves 380 children in 220 families in Stearns County.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services is designated under Minnesota Statutes as the lead state agency for supervision of the Child Care Assistance Program. Counties have limited discretion to establish some local policies and procedures. The Stearns County Child Care Plan outlines the local policies and procedures. The bulk of the plan is prescriptive, but public comment is sought on the entire plan.
To obtain a copy of the 2014-15 Stearns County Child Care Plan, go to Stearns County’s website at www.co.stearns.mn.us or contact Peggy Sammons at 320-656-6017 or 1-800-450-3663 ext. 6017 or by email at email@example.com.
Comments on the plan will be accepted until Oct. 22. Written comments should be submitted to Peggy Sammons, planning coordinator, Stearns County Human Services, P.O. Box 1107, St. Cloud, MN 56302.