Apply now for Oswego UPK program

Submitted by Oswego City Schools

The Oswego City School District is gearing up to welcome next year’s class of pre-kindergarten students!

Applications for the Oswego City School District Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program are now available. The program is designed for children who were born between Dec. 2, 2009 and Dec. 1, 2010 and is offered at no cost to children who are selected by lottery, said Cathleen Chamberlain, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

The UPK teachers and staff strive to create a warm and nurturing environment for all our four year olds. The goals of the program are to meet the individual needs of 4-year-old children in the areas of social, academic, language, emotional and physical development.

This prepares them to successfully enter kindergarten the following year.   The UPK teachers and District work closely together to deliver the best first educational experiences for your children.

Sessions will be available at the five elementary schools: Charles E. Riley, Fitzhugh Park, Frederick Leighton, Kingsford Park and Minetto. The program runs in conjunction with the regular school district calendar.

“There will be a maximum of 18 students in each class and the classes will be taught by a certified teacher and teaching assistant,” said Chamberlain.

Morning and afternoon sessions are available. The program runs from 9 to 11:30 a.m. for the morning session and 12:45 to 3:15 p.m. for the afternoon session.

Partial transportation will be offered for all four year olds. Students attending the morning session will be provided transportation to school and parents would be responsible for transportation home at 11:30 a.m.

In the afternoon session, parents are expected to transport their child to school at 12:45 p.m. and the school will transport the child home at 3:35 p.m.

An open house will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. March 26 at all elementary schools. Children are welcome to accompany parents, but are not required to attend.

This is an opportunity for everyone to see the classroom and learn more about the UPK program.

Anyone who would like their child considered for the program can complete an application — applications are available at all elementary schools, or the Office of Curriculum and Instruction on the first floor of the Education Center.

Questions? Call 341-2013. An application form is also available online at www.oswego.org.

Screening will be held in April, so send in applications as soon as possible.

Bodley Bulletins, by Julia Ludington

We have successfully had our first full week of school since who knows when!

Our canned food drive, sponsored by the HOPE Club, FBLA, Student Senate, and French Club, was a success. Thank you to all those that donated. Let’s make it our goal to make next year even better.

The midpoint of the marking period was last Friday. Students should be receiving their five-week reports later this week or early next week.

Remember, these grades are not your final average, but are to gauge how well you are doing in the quarter thus far. This quarter has been unusual, since we had only had 17 class days in the five-week period due to snow days and winter break.

Our very own “March Madness” is taking place at the high school. Mrs. Dauphin, a world history teacher at G. Ray Bodley, organizes a bracket of world leaders every year from all time periods. Students are assigned a certain leader, must do research on that leader, and must go up against other students in the tournament to prove that their leader is the best of all.

The rounds get more challenging as more are eliminated, so stay tuned for times that you can witness this entertaining and often hilarious event.

I hope everyone has a good week.  Please keep checking the school website for updated sports schedules.

St. Luke staff helps MS Society

Staff from St. Luke Health Services joined colleagues at affiliates Bishop’s Commons, Michaud Residential Health Services and St. Francis Commons to take part in an organization-wide benefit for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, during National MS Awareness Week.

For a monetary donation, staff “dressed casually” at work for the day in support of the National MS Society.

“MS is thought to affect more than 2.3 million people worldwide reaching people of all ages and is more prevalent in the community than one might expect,” said Mary Anne Sackman, social worker at St. Luke and the event organizer.

“Because the disease is not contagious or directly inherited and symptoms of MS are unpredictable, it can be difficult to diagnose,” Sackman said.

“That is why the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Upstate New York Chapter appreciates the support of the St. Luke staff during MS Awareness week, as we seek to draw attention to this illness and its effects in our community, while seeking a cure,” she said.

Margaret M. Gantley, retired from Springside at Seneca Hill

Margaret M. Gantley, 71, of Fulton, died Thursday March 6 at her home.

She was born in Oswego, NY to the late William and Leona (Rowlee) Ferriter.

Mrs. Gantley was a resident of Fulton for most of her life. She retired from Springside at Seneca Hill, Volney, NY in 2012.

Mrs. Gantley was a devoted caregiver for her family.

She was predeceased by her brother Gerald Ferriter in 1961.

Mrs. Gantley is survived by her daughter Sandra Ferriter of Fulton; eight siblings,  Susan Ferriter of Fulton, Katherine Enright of Mexico, NY, Michael (Patsy) Ferriter of Sterling, NY, Lawrence (Sheila) Ferriter of Fulton, Janice Leonard of Minetto, Frances Davis of NC, Mary Jeanne Lapeta of Ill., and Elizabeth (David) Baldwin of Pa.; and several nieces and nephews.

There will be no funeral service.  Burial will be held privately.

Calling hours are 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, March 15 in the Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., 224 W. Second St. S. Fulton.

County legislature meets Thursday March 13

By Debra J. Groom

The Oswego County Legislature will decide on a number of resolutions at its Thursday March 13 meeting that officials hope will save the county money.

One deals with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax freeze proposal. The legislators will vote on supporting an alternative to the governor’s plan — namely having the state take over paying for the mandated programs it tells counties they must provide.

County Administrator Philip Church told the legislators last month that Cuomo’s plan would save Oswego County taxpayers with an avaerage home valued at $94,500 a little less than $74. This would be a two-year rebate, Church said.

But he said if the state instituted permanent mandate relief, paying for programs such as Medicaid, indigent defense, presschool special education and others, the reductions to the average Oswego County taxpayer’s bill would be about $514.

And these would be permanent reductions — not just a two-year fix.

In his 2014-15 state budget presentation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will provide $1 billion for property tax relief.

Church said this would help taxpayers by reducing their property tax burden permanently.

“Many counties and the New York State Association of Counties are proposing this alternative method to provide property tax reductions to New Yorkers,” Church wrote in his analysis.

Also on Thursday, the legislature will vote on supporting a statewide indigent defense legal system. Church said if the state picked up the cost of paying for poor defendants needing lawyers, the county would save about $1.55 million, which amounts to about $24 for the average resident.

This issue is hot in the state right now due to a lawsuit called Hurrell-Harring et al vs. the State of New York. In that suit, defendants in a numbr of counties, including Onondaga, say they were not represented in court by lawyers at various parts of the legal process because the county did not provide the required lawyer.

The lawsuit contends some counties do not have the money to send lawyers to every court hearing, such as an arraignment, but the law requires defendants have legal representation in court at all times.

The state mandated the indigent defense legal system, but passed it on to the counties to run and fund.

Also on the agenda for Thursday:

** Approving a new lease with Operation Oswego County for the county’s Board of Elections offices on East Seneca Street. The lease would be for two years for 10,156 square feet of space at an annual cost of $31,900.

** A public hearing for some land being added into the agricultural district in Oswego County. The additions include about 80 acres in Scriba, 2 3/4 acres in New Haven and a little more than 150 acres in Amboy. The legislature also will vote on including these parcels in the ag district during the regular meeting.

David P. Colling, HVAC technician

David P. Colling, 51, of Fulton, died Friday March 7, 2014 in the Oswego Hospital.

Mr. Colling was born in Oswego, the son of the late Burton and Margaret (Hollenbeck) Colling.

He worked for Wilmorite in Syracuse, as a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning technician.

Mr. Colling is survived by his children, Matthew Colling, Brandon Colling and Rebekah Colling, all of Phoenix; and his siblings Burton (Connie) Colling of Mexico, Patricia (Gary) Ryan of Baldwinsville, Cindy (Bill) Neivel of Mexico; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were Tuesday March 11 at the Sugar Funeral Home, Fulton. Spring burial will be in Palermo Cemetery.

Calling hours also were Tuesday at the funeral home at 224 W. Second St.  Fulton.

St. Patrick’s proclamation issued

Fulton Mayor Ronald L. Woodward Sr. has proclaimed March 16, 2014, as a day of remembrance, celebration and recognition of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.  

Woodward presented the proclamation to Doug Malone and Jim Brannan, representatives of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Rev. Harold J. Flynn Division, Fulton.

St. Patrick’s Day events in Fulton will include a Mass at 4 p.m., Saturday, March 15, at Holy Trinity Church (309 Buffalo St.); a flag raising 11 a.m., Sunday, March 16, at the Fulton Municipal Building (141 S. First St.); and a St. Patrick’s Day Party from 2 to 8 p.m. March 16 at the Fulton Polish Home (153 W. First St.).

United Way seeks volunteers to decide where money is distributed

The United Way of Greater Oswego County would like to invite community members to be part of the agency’s program funding process by participating as a volunteer member of the United Way’s Community Investment Committee.

Comprised entirely of concerned community members, the United Way’s Community Investment Committee is responsible for evaluating various agency programs available in Oswego County and recommending to the United Way Board of Directors the funding support these programs should receive.

Participation in the United Way’s Community Investment Committee provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to learn more about their community and make critical decisions on how the money raised during the United Way’s Annual Campaign will be distributed to the county’s human services providers.

“The United Way addresses human service needs throughout Oswego County. It is of the utmost importance that the community is involved in this process,” said Kathy Fenlon, president of the United Way’s board of directors.

“Having volunteers from a broad cross section of the community is quite helpful as they all bring different knowledge and perspective to the process,” Fenlon said.

Volunteers will be asked to serve on one of five panels, each dealing with a specific field or services: emergency services; children and family services; health and special needs; senior services; and youth development.

Panel members will visit agencies that offer programs related to their specific field of service where they will receive a tour of the agency.

While the United Way’s program funding process does not begin until April, the United Way is recruiting volunteers now so the Community Investment Committee and the individual panels can be established and the volunteers can receive the training they need.

As a custodian of community contributions, United Way ensures those dollars are used in a cost efficient manner to fund effective, meaningful, unduplicated services.

“We provide our Community Investment Committee volunteers with a thorough overview of the principles and polices that are a part of our program funding process,” said United Way Executive Director Melanie Trexler.

“With those parameters in mind, their objective study and review of agency programs will help ensure that there will be an effective and well-balanced array of community services available in Oswego County,” she said.

Members are asked to invest about 15 hours of their time as they meet in April for training and then conduct agency tours and budget reviews throughout April and May.

“Volunteers learn about many of the services in Oswego County. They work together to make informed decisions, knowing that their input is important to the process,” Fenlon said. “It is a process that takes little time, but produces big results and provides volunteers with a real sense of accomplishment that many past volunteers have found rewarding.”

United Way Board of Directors member, Shawn Seale of Key Bank, and Debra Braden of Fulton Savings Bank, are co-chairs of the United Way’s Community Investment Committee.

For more information, or to volunteer, contact your United Way office at 593-1900, ext. 201.

Your hometown. Your news.