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CACS is getting a new look! Our new website will be launching on June 25. The new site will combine all of the amazing features and services Capital Area Community Services offers our communities in one easy place for your convenience. This includes subscribing to our monthly newsletter, service updates, text reminders, and more. We’re excited to share this with you and we hope you join us!

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CACS highlighted for “creative solutions” during pandemic in prestigious study 

Capital Area Community Services was selected to be one of two Community Action Agencies featured in a CAPLAW national webinar. CACS Lansing Service Center Coordinator Jamie O’Dell and United Planning Organization Director Ayana Bias will be speaking at the webinar.

“I’m excited to represent Capital Area Community Services, and that we are being acknowledged for our ability to adapt our services during the pandemic,” O’Dell said.

“Lifting the Low-Income Voice: CAAs Discuss Democratic Selection Procedures in the Pandemic” focuses on how Community Action Agencies overcame the pandemic to elect low-income representatives.

CAPLAW recently highlighted Capital Area Community Services’ creative and responsive democratic selection procedures, including adaptations due to COVID-19, in their study “Raising the Low-Income Voice: Case Studies in Democratic Selection Procedures.”

The pandemic presented multiple challenges to Community Action Agency staff, one being how to elect community members to represent low-income sectors on the tripartite board. Capital Area Community Services stepped up to that challenge by coming together for creative solutions, each staff member taking on extra work to make sure those voices were heard. However, the process of filling two board seats in the low-income representative sector helped CACS staff feel hopeful and connected to our communities during an especially difficult time. 

“The democratically selected low-income representative sector of the tripartite board is one of the hallmarks of Community Action, but recruiting and electing new board members in this sector during the pandemic has presented serious challenges,” CAPLAW wrote in its study.

The event is on Thursday, May 20, at 2 p.m.

Register at the link below to attend the webinar. 

 https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUudO6urT8iGNYEArrSRNZMrmvfi0SMS1FT


Dr. Nolana Nobles, CACS Early Childhood Director, speaking at Michigan’s Children series 

CACS Early Childhood Director Dr. Nolana Nobles was invited to speak and share her experiences at Michigan’s Children Lunch and Learn series. The conference is “Policymaking and the Power of Sharing Lived Experiences” on May 19, 2021, from 12 to 1 p.m.

Michigan’s Children is an advocacy group that lobbies for public policy that serves Michigan’s children and families.

Dr. Nobles will be sharing her authentic experience as both a Head Start child, a Head Start parent, and finally as the Director of Early Childhood Education at Capital Area Community Services now having the same positive influence on Mid-Michigan children that she had as a child.

Dr. Nobles’ powerful experiences starting as a young child shaped her life up through adulthood, leading her to work under former Governor Rick Snyder and Governor Gretchen Whitmer to advocate for children with special needs.

“I was selected to participate in the series is because I was profoundly affected by Head Start,” Nobles said. “Authentic advocacy, what these policies actually look like in real life, for our kids and families, is what all childhood education advocates want to see.”

Michigan’s Children described the series as a panel of experts from youth development, early childhood, and adult education discussing their “lived experiences in their agency’s advocacy and program priorities.”

Dr. Nobles said she’s excited to share her own story as the example of Head Start’s ability to shape the life of a child and represent Capital Area Community Services.

To register for the event go to

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIlfu2qqj0pHtOLceq7ckI3H8OusVim7Tm3


Governor Whitmer makes May Community Action month 

Governor Whitmer signs a proclamation acknowledging Community Action Month and the work Community Action Agencies do for Michigan families.

“We join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in our respect for the efforts of Community Action Agencies and recognize that they have made significant contributions to individuals and families in Michigan” Whitmer promised in her acknowledgment for the significance of the month.

Click the link below to see the official certificate marking May, 2021, as Community Action Month.

Community Action Month Proclamation


CACS client honored at state award ceremony 

A Shiawassee woman is being honored at the Michigan Community Action Legislative Day and Community Action award ceremony for her hard work and dedication to changing her life. The Client Nominee Award recognizes the perseverance and dedication it takes for clients to hold on to hope and change their circumstances.

Capital Area Community Services Housing Resource Specialist Jessica Woodworth thought her client Crystal Campbell exemplified those attributes.

“I nominated Crystal for the award because she sets good goals for herself consistently, and she does everything in her power to meet those goals,” Woodworth said. “I’m always impressed that she will go out of her way to achieve what she wants.”

Campbell was pregnant and homeless in November 2020, when she came to Capital Area Community Services for help.

“CACS was able to help me move into a one-bedroom apartment,” Campbell said. “They covered my first month, last month, and security deposit plus some additional months. Which is helping me save for the new baby.”

One of Campbell’s major goals was to get back into the workforce.

“One of her major goals was to get a job and unfortunately even though she applied multiple places no one immediately called her back, but she didn’t give up and now is working as an in-home health aid,” Woodworth said.

Woodworth will be attending the Michigan Community Action award ceremony as Campbell’s representative. Campbell is unable to attend the award ceremony.

“Crystal is so hardworking and dedicated. She was ecstatic to be awarded and recognized for her hard work,” Woodsworth said. “She’s extremely grateful for all the work CACS has done to help her.”

“Without Jessica and CACS I would be living on the street or in a shelter somewhere and that is no place to raise a baby,” Campbell said. “It’s very comforting to know that CACS is there to help me through these difficult times in my life.”

Campbell is one of six nominees that will be honored during the ceremony. All award recipients received an award and a $100 Amazon gift card from the Michigan Community Action Agency.

The award ceremony will take place May 19 at 1 p.m. via Zoom for those we are interested in watching.

Click the link to register for the ceremony: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJctdeuorDMrGtAFRcvkY0qE3ViHJgCMAGCi


Local news station features CACS Head Start program 

WILX News 10 featured Capital Area Community Services Head Start program in their weekly Schools Rule. The program focused on Head Start’s partnership with The Delta Dental Foundation and the Dart Foundation to bring STEM education to preschoolers. The answer: students at Head Start learn about STEM concepts through an interactive play-based kit put together by the Impression 5 Science Center, Delta Dental Foundation, and the Dart Foundation.

“When most people think of stem activities they think of older children, high school kids, college kids, opportunities like that, but small children can take advantage of stem activities also,” CACS Head Start Director Dr. Nolana Nobles told News 10. “Every day they’re experiencing them in real life anyway.”

Capital Area Community Services Head Start is grateful to be featured by our local stations to better reach the people we serve. Click the link below to watch our segment on Schools Rule.

https://www.wilx.com/2021/05/07/pre-schoolers-learn-about-stem-education/


PNC Grow Up Great grants support Head Start classrooms 

Having a comfortable classroom is essential for productive learning, especially for energetic preschoolers. Teacher Jessie Nevius at Furstenau Early Childhood Center in DeWitt, MI, wanted to create a comfortable classroom for her students by replacing old metal chairs with light moveable ones that encouraged independence for her students, and light covers that dimmed the harsh fluorescent lighting.

PNC Grow Up Great Foundation has distributed millions of dollars in grants to organizations that support early childhood education like CACS Head Start. Head Start and PNC in Michigan have worked together closely over the years. During the month of April PNC Grow Up Great Foundation is matching every dollar Nevius raises in donations to replace the furniture for her students. This April PNC is matching any donations raised by teachers up to $1,500.

Learn more about this partnership and fundraiser on https://www.wilx.com/2021/04/30/teacher-in-dewitt-raising-funds-for-at-risk-kids-in-the-classroom/?fbclid=IwAR0e4l0UwISUhkewa8ZMnLYESLHIjpFSg7k1hrhrdI0oyLCRnCIVQh1tpRM

Community Action Network Celebrates 57 years of Service, 56 years in Mid-Michigan

2021 marks the 57th year since the Community Action Network was established to help American families and communities overcome obstacles to poverty. Over 1000 agencies across the country are working every day to create opportunities and transform the lives of their neighbors making communities stronger and helping families across the US thrive. This year, Capital Area Community Services, a proud member of the Community Action Network, will also commemorate 56 years helping families throughout Mid-Michigan.

“Each May, during Community Action Month, we reflect on the impact CACS and our network has had on families,” CACS Executive Director Miguel Rodriguez said. “Last year alone, we served 18,076 people in Mid-Michigan, and over 15 million across the country with immediately needed services such as shelter and food, and also long-term solutions like education and job placement.”

Community Action Agencies serve 99% of all American counties with life-changing services to help families achieve financial stability. All agencies are locally controlled and represented by the private, public, and low-income sectors of the community.

“We are proud of our communities’ participation in the development and oversight of our programs,” Rodriguez said. “Their engagement helps us to be more effective in our approach by determining what Mid-Michigan needs.”


Calling all interested Contractors,
Capital Area Community Services is searching for qualified contractors to work on our Rensen Service Center roof.

Schedule to see the roof by contacting Paxton Rusch at (517) 294-5560

All contractors submitting bids must mail a completed application packet with bid to:

Capital Area Community Services, Inc.
Request for Proposal – Warehouse Roof
Executive Director
1301 Rensen Street
Lansing, MI  48910

All bids are due by May 17, 2021.


COVID-19 UPDATE: In-Person classes temporarily suspended

After careful review of the COVID minimum infection metrics, CACS has decided to return to remote learning for Head Start children from April 14-27, 2021.

The Ingham County Health Department has recommended schools not continue face-to-face learning at this time, so we will apply that to all four counties in our service area (Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, and Shiawassee). We will keep classes remote, in-person classes will resume on Wednesday, April 28, 2021.

Families whose children have been attending in-person classes will be able to pick up food at the school building or Head Start delivery will be considered for eligible families.

Early Head Start programs will remain as is.

The safety of your children and our staff is our priority and we appreciate your support of our safety efforts.


Michigan Business Network recognizes community partners for STEM Kits

The Michigan Business Network recognized community partners Impression 5 Science Center, Delta Dental Foundation, and The Dart Foundation for STEM kit initiative. Impression 5 Science Center was awarded a grant in partnership with Delta Dental Foundation and The Dart Foundation.

These STEM kits provide engaging hands-on education tools for parents and kids during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Learning kits will be delivered locally to an estimated 1,600 children in the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Each kit will focus on an area of STEM and includes oral health supplies. A total of six kits are planned to be assembled and delivered throughout the year. April’s kit will focus on environmental science.

Providing opportunities to educate kids in a meaningful way, stay hopeful during this pandemic, and support our community is an important part of our mission at CACS.

The Michigan Business Network interviewed CACS Head Start Director Dr. Nolana Nobles.

“Through this STEM kit planning process, we were able to add items that utilize a play-based approach, consistent with early childhood education evidence-based practices demonstrating that young children learn best through play,”  Nobles told Michigan Business Network. “We are excited to expand our services to at-home learning through hands-on learning opportunities for the families of Head Start and Early Head Start in the Tri-County area.”

Read more about STEM kits at https://www.michiganbusinessnetwork.com/blog/impression-5-to-distribute-stem-education-kits-to-head-start-children


 


Service updates as of 4/1/2021

Capital Area Community Services, Inc., continues to monitor actions and communications from several sources related to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation. Services have been modified to fit our community’s needs while keeping clients and staff safe. Find updated information below.

All service center buildings are closed to the public unless specific appointment by your Family Support Assistant. Services will be provided over the phone as much as possible. To learn more go to the top of this page or call 517-393-7077.

Updates:

CACS Head Start 

CACS Head Start is enrolling for the 2021-2022 school year. Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham county families interested in applying for Head Start can do so online by clicking this link.

Shiawassee county families call 989-723-5849 to apply over the phone.

In-person classrooms are opening throughout all four counties. In-person class capacity is limited. In-person and remote learning options will be available to families.

To learn more about enrollment, center locations, and services go to CACS Head Start website.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)/The Emergency Food Program (TEFAP)

Commodity Supplemental Food Program and The Emergency Food Program distribution dates and times vary at each local service center. To check your local service center please call their number directly. You can find service centers by clicking this link.

Food distribution is drive-through only. Please have your trunk open and a spot cleared before you reach the front of the drive-through line.

To sign up or renew your Commodity Food card please call the warehouse phone number (517) 393-7077 ext. 661 or 662.

 


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** Click Here to view the WILX News story on Head Start early literacy **

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