Members of the Oswego Bookmobile’s Student Advisory Council recently reported on their winter project.
The project involved helping the bookmobile purchase popular books to give to youngsters free of charge during the bookmobile’s summer program.
Students who are Advisory Council members are generally avid readers who talk with their classmates about favorite book titles, and are therefore well qualified to suggest favorite and popular books for purchase.
Members of the Council also help to prepare the high-interest books for the bookmobile.
“It’s like opening Christmas presents for the students when the new books arrive,” said Amy Armet, who advises the Student Advisory Council.
The Student Advisory Council met recently at Frederick Leighton Elementary School in Oswego to see and showcase newly arrived books for Oswego Bookmobile Committee members.
Also on hand were representatives of river’s end bookstore, who assisted with the book purchase, as well as AmeriCorps and the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau.
The books were purchased with a $1,000 Mini-Grant from the Youth Bureau.
The project was also made possible by the state Office of Children and Family Services.
The Oswego Bookmobile and its Student Advisory Council express their appreciation for the funding and to those who assisted with this project.
Hundreds of area children will benefit during the next year due to this grant.
When it comes to fighting hunger in Oswego County, perhaps no one plays a more important role than Oswego County Opportunities.
Virtually all of OCO’s human services programs have elements that address hunger. From homebound seniors to homeless teens and single mothers, to low-income families and hungry youth, OCO does its best to provide nutritious meals to those in need.
With the need for food subsidy at almost record levels in Oswego County, and state and federal funding continuing to dwindle, OCO’s fundraising efforts are on a roll.
To help continue to feed those in need OCO will host its “Retro Bowl” fundraiser Saturday, April 5, at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton.
Proceeds from the Retro Bowl will be spread across all of the agency’s programs to assist in providing consumers of these programs with emergency food when needed and help the agency build a reserve for the future.
Executive Director of OCO Diane Cooper-Currier said supporting programs and services that combat hunger aligns nicely with OCO’s mission.
“As an anti-poverty agency, our focus is fighting poverty in any form. The inability to afford or prepare nutritious meals is certainly one of the most troubling forms of poverty we see,” she said.
“Our Retro Bowl fundraiser will help ensure that our consumers, regardless of which program they are accessing, will have the emergency food supplies they need for themselves and their families,” said Cooper-Currier.
While food subsidy is an aspect of all of OCO’s programs, the agency’s premier anti-hunger program is its Nutrition Service program.
Originally established to help provide meals for seniors, OCO Nutrition Services has evolved into a well-rounded program that operates eight dining and activity centers; provides a home-delivered meal service for seniors, as well as a private pay program for those under 60; offers a supplemental summer food program for youth throughout Oswego County; and an after-school program in Fulton that provides food for youth up to 18 years of age.
Last year alone, OCO Nutrition Services served 239,769 meals to Oswego County residents 60 and older; provided 16,360 meals to youth up to 18 years of age; and fed 50 children in its after school and summer food programs.
Additionally, OCO Nutrition Services delivered 650 “Blizzard Bags” filled with non-perishable foods to homebound residents so that they may have a day or two of food on hand in the event of bad weather.
The centerpiece of OCO Nutrition Services is the eight Dining and Activity Centers that the program hosts.
The centers provide a warm meal and a welcoming environment for those 60 and older wishing to enjoy some fun, quality time with others in their community.
The Dining and Activities Centers are open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and are located at:
Constantia – St. Bernadette’s Church, 1667 State Route 49, open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 623-9803
Fulton – Fulton Municipal Building, 141 S. First St., open Monday through Friday, 592-3408
Hannibal – Community Library, 162 Oswego St., open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 564-5471
Mexico – Presbyterian Church, 4316 Church St., open Wednesday and Friday, 963-7757
Parish – Presbyterian Church, 814 Rider St., open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 625-4617
Phoenix – Congregational Church, 3 Bridge St., open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 695-4841
Sandy Creek – Methodist Church, 2031 Harwood Drive, open Monday through Friday, 298-5020
“It’s amazing to think of the impact that our program has on hunger in our county,” said Amy Roland, director of OCO Nutrition Services.
“Our kitchen staff, our drivers, the staffs of our dining and activity centers, and our army of volunteers that we are fortunate enough to have, are busy all day long preparing, packaging and delivering meals each and every day, Monday through Friday,” she said..
Roland added she is looking at ways to expand the OCO Nutrition Services by providing even more meals and making the summer food program for local youth available at more locations.
The summer food program, currently at 12 locations in the county, provides up to two meals per day, Monday through Friday throughout the summer break.
The OCO Retro Bowl takes place from noon to 6 p.m. April 5 at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton.
Registration is now open for five-person teams, with choice of flights: noon to 2:30 p.m. or 3 to 5:30 p.m. (first come, first served).
For registration or sponsor information, or to donate a door prize, contact OCO at 598-4717 or visit the agency’s website at oco.org.
With its mission geared toward lending a hand to those in need, members of G. Ray Bodley High School’s HOPE Club recently joined forces with other school groups to hold a food drive benefiting the Salvation Army Food Pantry.
The HOPE Club, Helping Other People Everywhere, teamed up with the Future Business Leaders of America, the Student Senate and the French Club to collect nonperishable food items during the month of February. Despite several days lost due to school cancellations, the drive yielded more than 600 items.
“Every little bit makes a difference,” HOPE Club adviser Cathy Cronk said. “The Salvation Army Food Pantry can use this to distribute to those in need.”
Cronk noted that Katherine Marshall’s guided study hall students donated 122 items, which was the most in the school and netted the class a pizza party.
Head Start Pre-K is accepting enrollment applications for the 2014-2015 school year.
In Fulton, Head Start Pre-K is available at three different locations. Classes are 3 ½ hours in length, with morning and afternoon sessions.
The program’s goal is promoting school readiness through hands-on learning experiences, active play, and nutritious meals and snacks.
All teachers have either master’s degrees or bachelor’s degrees in education.
Staff also includes teaching assistants, classroom aides, family advocates, cooks and nurses.
Families may apply for enrollment by attending “Application Day” from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, April 7 at the Fulton Municipal Building, South First Street, Fulton.
Families also may call 598-7689 or 598-4711 to schedule an application time.
Waiting lists are maintained for openings that may occur throughout the school year.
Head Start Pre-K enrolls 3- and 4-year-old children and is provided at no cost to families that meet income eligibility guidelines.
Head Start is the longest running national school-readiness program in the United States.
In Oswego County, Head Start Pre-K enrolls 224 children at seven centers located throughout the county.
Oswego County Opportunities, Inc operates the Head Start program. OCO is a non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. It is a United Way of Greater Oswego County member agency. Visit oco.org for more information.
Jim Weinhold, of Fulton, has been named Veteran of the Year and will be the grand marshal of Fulton’s Memorial Day Salute Parade May 24.
Weinhold, 83, has lived in Fulton for 31 years, coming here from Seneca Knolls outside Baldwinsville.
He is on his fourth year as commander of the Fulton VFW, is past commander of the Fulton American Legion, is a member of the Fulton Veterans’ Council and is captain of the VFW Color Guard, which presides at military funerals in the area.
Weinhold said he served seven years in the Navy and 15 years in the Air National Guard with the 174th “Boys from Syracuse.”
From 1953 to 1954, he served on a Navy ship near the 38th parallel just off Korea as the Korean War was winding down.
He was a radarman and petty officer third class in the Navy.
In the Air Guard, he was in the supply field and retired as a master sergeant.
Weinhold worked for Western Electric for years and after retiring, worked as a custodian for the Fulton school district at G. Ray Bodley High School, Volney Elementary School and the Education Center.
“I am very humbled to be named Veteran of the Year. I’m very appreciative,” he said. “This is not just about me, but about all veterans alive and deceased.”
At the March 18 meeting, the Fulton Common Council approved two public hearings for residential zone changes in the Fifth Ward.
Properties enclosed within North Sixth, Ontario, Erie and North Seventh streets, and North Third, Oneida, Seneca and North Fourth streets block are both currently zoned as Residential R-2, which allows multi-family units.
The city seeks to change the zones to R-1A, which requires more than 50 percent of the properties to be single-family units.
Mayor Ronald S. Woodward Sr. told The Valley News the zone change will eliminate disturbances that occur in multi-family rental properties, which have contributed to the “deterioration of certain neighborhoods.”
Woodward said most of these problem properties are located in the Fifth and Sixth wards on the east side of the city.
“They generate a lot of police calls, a lot of ambulance calls, a lot of fire calls,” Woodward said.
“When one of these calls is generated, first responders have to stay until the ambulance comes. … If you’ve got somewhere else where the emergency services are needed, they’re tied up,” he said.
Woodward said city first responders received 69 calls from one resident in this area alone in 2013, and the person has called 17 times already this year.
The mayor said once more homes are filled with “working families,” the problems associated with these renters will go away. But he stressed it will take time.
“They weren’t (created) overnight, and they won’t go away overnight,” Woodward said.
Of the 33 properties between the two blocks in question, nine contain two or more families. After the zone change, these homes will be grandfathered in.
If a multi-family residence becomes vacant for more than a year, however, the property must be converted to a single-family unit or demolished.
The hearings will be held at the next Common Council meeting, at 7 p.m. April 1 in the Common Council chambers at the Fulton Municipal Building, 141 S. First St.
• The Common Council struck a discussion of the East Side Pool from the agenda.
Mayor Woodward said even if Fulton applied for a grant to cover the cost of the engineering study, the city would not be able to match the funds required.
“The council is not going to vote for that study because they know there’d be a 25 to 50 percent match that they’d have to bond for, and they’re not going to do that,” Woodward told The Valley News. “We’ve got to just quit spinning our wheels over it.”
Woodward said at the council meeting that the city has asked New York state’s Financial Restructuring Board about alternative funding sources for the pool study.
• A public hearing for a proposed local law that would prohibit feeding wild animals and waterfowl on public property will be held at the next council meeting, April 1.
“We’ve had quite a problem downtown with people feeding seagulls,” Woodward told the council.
He said the seagulls have made messes on cars and a mural on the Fulton Savings Bank building on South First Street.
Feral cats have been an issue, and people have been feeding geese at Stevenson Beach as well.
“The DEC frowns upon it. They claim if the feeding stops, the waterfowl will seek more remote areas for wild feeding,” Woodward said.
• Carolyn Mosier has been appointed to fill the Fulton Public Library Board of Trustees position vacated by Elizabeth Mirabito.