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Trela: "... find ways to make age-appropriate literature
available to children with disabilities"

Poughkeepsie Public Library District receives NEA Big Read grant

POUGHKEEPSIE (May 31) – The National Endowment for the Arts announced the latest round of NEA Big Read grants. The Poughkeepsie Public Library District is one of 77 community organizations to be awarded a grant. Over 150 organizations across the country applied for a share of more than one million dollars to host an NEA Big Read community project.

The National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read project is designed to “broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book”. To this end, the Poughkeepsie Public Library District selected a book that highlights Mexican-US cross-cultural relations, Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. “We are thrilled that the National Endowment for the Arts recognizes and supports the extraordinary investment of our local partners into this annual program. This will be our tenth year coordinating a community read. Many local schools, libraries, and arts organizations are on board and scheduling creative events for this fall. We plan to use the grant money to purchase books for schools and community partners, including making many books available to the public through libraries. We also plan to bring the author, Luis Alberto Urrea, here to Poughkeepsie. It’s very exciting,” commented Big Read Coordinator Jewel Ratzlaff.

Although the Big Read officially kicks-off on Friday, October 14, many partners have already been working on Big Read projects.  Dr. Katherine Trela, Assistant Professor, Special Education, at Marist College recently spoke to the Big Read Planning Committee about the work her Marist students have done this past semester.

“It is so important that we find ways to make age-appropriate literature available to children with disabilities,” Trela said. “Let’s not teach reading skills to a middle schooler using a book written for a six-year-olds. One of the best ways to bring age-appropriate material to students with low literacy skills is through Adapted Literature. The teacher candidates in my classes use well-researched concepts and nationally-accepted literacy protocols to adapt the Little Read book selection for the teachers and students at BOCES Salt Point Education Center. The project booklets become the property of the BOCES Education Center for use in classrooms in the fall, at the same time when the rest of the community is focused on the same literature.”

The Library District has also approached local businesses for funds to match the $17,000 NEA Big Read grant. Development Officer Gareth Davies says, “We are very fortunate to be able to count on the support of local funders, especially Salisbury Bank and Trust Company which has been with us from the beginning.”

The 2016 Big Read program will run from October 14 through November 19, with books and events available for all ages.  See for developments in the coming months.


SUNY Ulster Holds 39th Annual Nursing Pinning Ceremony

STONE RIDGE (May 31) - SUNY Ulster held it's 39th Pinning Ceremony on May 19th on the Stone Ridge Campus. 39 Nursing Program students were pinned and earned their Associate Degree RN.

There were 30 female and 9 male graduates. They ranged in age from 20-59 years and were a very close-knit group.

In attendance were SUNY Ulster President Alan Roberts; Vice President Kevin Stoner; the Nursing Department and many guests.

(photo: Ilene Cutler)


John Jay High School makes a significant contribution to victims of domestic violence

POUGHKEEPSIE (May 26) - Grace Smith House, the domestic violence non-profit located in Poughkeepsie, received a significant contribution from John Jay High School’s chapter of the National Honor Society.

Members of the school’s chapter presented Grace Smith House’s executive director, Michele Pollock Rich, with a check for $5,000. The students raised the funds through a variety of events, including a school-wide talent show.


YWCA of Ulster County’s Magic Circle School at Ulster County BOCES
in Port Ewen

HealthAlliance NAP SACC program helps preschoolers eat and play better, child care specialists say

KINGSTON (May 26) - Ulster County toddlers and preschoolers are eating and playing better than they were before HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley introduced a nutrition and physical activity program, child care specialists say.

“We’ve gone from kids eating only limited foods to almost all kids loving our healthy meals,” says Kelly Kohler, co-director of the Little Lambs Academy on Neighborhood Road in Lake Katrine. “They also have more energy to engage in our daily active play outside.”

The Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care, or NAP SACC, program works with early child care and education programs countywide to help day care centers and family child care homes adopt best practices so children ages 2 to 5 can start lifelong paths to healthy eating and activity.

In the case of the Little Lambs Academy, NAP SACC’s nutritional component reinforces the academy’s nearly 2-year-old Little Plates program, which provides healthful, culturally diverse foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, every day.

“They absolutely love, love, love the food program,” Kohler says of the children.

NAP SACC, an evidence-based national program managed locally by HealthAlliance through its Community Heart Health Coalition of Ulster County, also seeks to reduce TV, computer and mobile-device “screen time,” says NAP SACC coordinator Laurie Deutsch Mozian.

Research studies published in The Journal of Pediatrics, the Journal of Public Health and other peer-reviewed journals link excessive screen time to childhood obesity and other negative health consequences.


Decker reads and chats with some of the city’s youngest learners

Port Jervis mayor visits Head Start

PORT JERVIS (May 26) - Mayor Kelly Decker visited the Port Jervis Head Start school recently. He started his day with a reading of Laura Numeroff’s "If You Take a Mouse to School" and afterwards explained to the kids what he does at City Hall as their Mayor. Decker is also a history teacher at the Port Jervis Middle School. He shared some local history about Port Jervis, and told the kids about the very site their school sits on.

“The students really enjoyed the visit and taking a photo with him,” said the school’s Center Liaison Rachael Cox. “He’s an approachable, funny person and that made the children relax. We love having community members visit our center so they can see our hard work and the dedication we have to our families and children. They also demonstrate how community members can be involved in our program.”

Head Start programs support the comprehensive development of children in the learning centers and in their own homes. Development-focused services include early learning through instruction, health education including meals and dental support, and family well-being as parents are encouraged to achieve their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security.  Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.

RECAP celebrated 50 years in the Hudson Valley in 2015. Visit for information about programs, fundraisers and events.



SUNY Orange names new VP for administration and finance
MIDDLETOWN (May 19) - Daniel Hall, vice president for finance and facilities at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Minn., for the past four years, has been named SUNY Orange’s new vice president for administration and finance as announced by College President Dr. Kristine Young.

With more than 25 years of public and private sector senior-level administrative experience in higher education, non-profits and government, Hall possesses a wealth of financial management and operations experience. At SUNY Orange, he will be a member of Young’s executive leadership team and will oversee the business office, maintenance and facilities, safety and security, human resources, payroll and institutional research.

“Dan is a seasoned chief financial officer whose breadth of knowledge and experience spans multiple industries and geographical regions,” Young said. “He has demonstrated an ability to successfully align financial resources with the institution’s mission during his stops in higher education, and I know our faculty, staff, and administration are eager to draw from Dan’s experience in that area.  Throughout the interview process, I found Dan to be creative and collaborative, and his resume and references back that up. He values shared governance in higher education. I expect he will quickly acclimate himself to our College community and will develop a strong working relationship with Orange County leadership. I look very forward to having Dan join the College’s executive team.”

At North Hennepin, Hall was a member of the president’s cabinet and executive team, directing administrative and auxiliary functions including finance, accounting, budget, facilities, physical plant, risk management, environmental health and safety, bookstore, and printing services.

He successfully led the development of a new 60,000-square-foot Bioscience and Health Careers Center, which was completed on schedule and $1 million under budget. He aligned the college’s financial resources to more fully support North Hennepin’s master plans for academics, student affairs, facilities and information technology. He also brought transparency to the college’s budgeting process and served on a variety of committees.

A native of Oregon, Hall holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and urban and regional governments from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., in addition to his master’s. Hall is expected to begin his tenure at SUNY Orange on July 25.


von Stackelberg

Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County welcomes new parenting and family life educator

MIDDLETOWN (May 19) - Julika von Stackelberg has joined Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County as a Parenting & Family Life Educator, announced Denyse Variano, Family and Consumer Sciences Issue Leader.

“Julika comes with a background in parenting education, working with parents one-on-one, in groups and as a workshop leader and public speaker,” said Variano. “She also has extensive experience in marketing, outreach and fundraising with non-profit organizations. Julika’s experience and background is a great combination for what we are hoping to achieve over the next few years in our Family and Consumer Sciences.  Parents and caregivers today are faced with a plethora of new challenges, especially when it comes to managing family and work life. In response, Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County is in the process of expanding the programming we offer, especially for working parents.” In addition to program delivery, Julika will be reaching out to the local community to help increase visibility and awareness of the programs Extension offers for parents and caregivers. Plans include ‘lunch-and-learns,’ as well as one-on-one support.

Julika will lead Parenting in this Wild New World - 5 Simple Tools for Successful Parenting, a workshop to be presented at the Albert Wisner Library in Warwick in conjunction with Family Central on June 9.

“As a parent of three, I have first-hand experience of how challenging it can be to parent in this ‘wild new world,’” said von Stackelberg, “That’s why I am excited to join the Cornell Cooperative Extension in this capacity -- supporting parents and caregivers of Orange County as they strive to provide a nurturing environment for their families.”


Faith Christian Academy announces National Honors Society Recipients 

TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE (May 6) - Faith Christian Academy in Poughkeepsie held its third annual National Honor Society Induction Ceremony at its new Casperkill Campus located at 25 Golf Club Lane in the Town of Poughkeepsie. The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation’s premier organization which was established to recognize outstanding high school students. The NHS serves to honor students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921. 

L-R: Jordyn Britton, Isaac Sabado, Yuan (Sherry) Xue, Shijia Zhang, Iliana Soto, Madison Mackin, Eshaa Munder, Olivia Kamwela,
Michael Averin, Sidney Beck and Alexandra Beck

“We take seriously the selection of those students who are inducted into the National Honor Society,” said FCA Headmaster, Alex Averin. ”We want to be sure the students uphold the Christian values of our own school and that they will maintain this excellence as members of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious student recognition program.”  

The 2016 FCA students were inducted into the Bettie Damiani Chapter of the National Honor Society which was named after the founder of the School, Mrs. Bettie Damiani. The Chapter is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors who have a cumulative average of 90% or higher. Recipients are elected based on their application, Faculty Council review, personal essay, letter of recommendation and academic standing.   


Mahopac Middle School student delivers comfort to cancer patients

CARMEL (May 3) –Caitlin Andersen, 13, was all smiles this week when she delivered some of the 150 comfort bags she and the community made for cancer patients at Putnam Hospital Center.

Full details on our Health Page


Pistol Permit Pre-Licensing Course May 21st   

MONTICELLO (April 24) - The Adult and Continuing Education Program at Sullivan BOCES is offering a 4-hour Pistol Permit Pre-Licensing Course on May 21st at the Kauneonga Lake Fire Hall from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. The cost is $80.

This is a non-shooting course which introduces the pistol permit applicant to the basic skills necessary for safe storage and handling of firearms and ammunition, and provides a brief overview of New York State laws that cover firearms and use of force.  Upon completion of this course students will receive an NRA Firearms safety certificate that they will present with their pistol permit application.
Students will be taught the basic rules of firearms handling, the primary cause of firearms accidents, basic firearms nomenclature, safe loading and unloading procedures and components, basic care and cleaning and ways to safely store firearms in the home.  Students will also receive instructions on what to look for when purchasing their first handgun.

The instructor for this course is a 22 year veteran of law enforcement, a New York State Certified Firearms Instructor, FBI Certified Firearms Instructor, Police Academy Use of Force Instructor, NRA Certified Instructor and retired United States Marine.

The course will also be given on June 25th.

To register or for more information, contact the Adult and Continuing Education Program at (845) 295-4915 between the hours of 8:30 am and 6:30 pm or visit us at  For program updates Like Sullivan County BOCES on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

The Adult Program at BOCES enhances our community, one family at a time.


Sullivan BOCES offering Common Core Math for Parents

MONTICELLO (April 24) - The Adult and Continuing Education Program at Sullivan BOCES is offering a Common Core Math for Parents course at the St. John Street Education Center in Monticello.   Classes will run on Mondays and Wednesdays, May 23rd through June 20th, from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm. The cost is $100.

The Common Core State Standards require that students demonstrate understanding of math concepts in ways that many parents find perplexing.  This course will help parents to gain a better understanding of the new standards and the problem solving techniques that are typical in the common core classroom.  By the end of the course, parents will have a working knowledge of how to help their children with homework assignments.

The course facilitator has been trained through the NYSED/CUNY Teacher Leader Mathematics Institutes in Albany and recently published her findings of a practitioner research project she coordinated that focused on mathematics problem solving in the Common Core Era.

To register or for more information, please contact the Adult and Continuing Education Program at (845) 295-4915 between the hours of 8:30 am and 6:30 pm or visit us at  For program updates Like Sullivan County BOCES on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

The Adult Program at BOCES enhances our community, one family at a time.


Town of Poughkeepsie Youth Police Academy

TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE (April 21) - The Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department is accepting  applications for the 2016 Youth Police Academy. This 5-day program runs from Monday, June 27 to Friday July I. Applicants must be Town of Poughkeepsie residents who will be entering I 0th, 11th or 12th grade in September of 2016.

Full details on our Community Page


SUNY Orange Foundation issues scholarship challenge

MIDDLETOWN (April 11) -- The SUNY Orange Foundation has launched a $100,000 Scholarship Challenge Match for alumni, friends and supporters of the College, as well as individuals, organizations and businesses throughout the greater Hudson Valley.

Through April and into early May, the Foundation will match all scholarship donations ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 “dollar-for-dollar” when those donations establish a new scholarship or add to an existing scholarship fund. The Scholarship Challenge Match was initiated to commemorate the April 29 inauguration of SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine Young as well as the 10th anniversary of the Foundation’s Leadership Awards (to be held April 14).

“Think about how much influence you, your company, church group, or organization can have on the life of a student at SUNY Orange,” says Terry Saturno, chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Your $5,000 scholarship gift will have even more impact when the Foundation doubles your generous contribution. For example, a new scholarship, perhaps in honor of a loved one, immediately becomes a $10,000 fund. You could award a $2,500 scholarship to one student every year, for the next four years.”

Donors may determine whether their contribution will support a new SUNY Orange student or encourage the achievements of a continuing student, pursuing his or her dream.

The Foundation can assist donors in structuring their new scholarship. Information is also available at the Foundation’s web site (

Donations can be made in one payment, or dispersed in equal installments of up to 24 months with the use of a credit card. Scholarship pledges, which will also be accepted, must be completed within three years. New gifts or signed pledges must be finalized by May 10, 2016. Gifts or pledges must range from $1,000 to $5,000. Gifts are eligible to be matched until the $100,000 Challenge Fund is fully committed. Pledges or credit card gifts will be matched when the total gift is received.





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