Author: Josh Amaral

$430k in Grants Awarded to New Bedford Educational Causes

NEW BEDFORD — Two grants have been awarded to causes that further educational opportunities for children in New Bedford.

The New Bedford School District was awarded $4-5,000 in state and federal funding, which will be used to support the development and implementation of turnaround plans for city schools.

The second grant was awarded to PACE in the amount of $25,000 to support the Parent-Child program, which helps parents continue the learning process for their children while they’re at home.

The grants were announced by New Bedford State Senator Mark Montigny.

“Education is incredibly important and these two grants will help make sure that New Bedford students are getting the highest quality education we can give them,” said Montigny. “It will help make sure that all kids showing up on their first day of school are ready to learn and schools have more resources to help those who have additional needs.”

From WBSM here: http://wbsm.com/430k-in-grants-awarded-to-new-bedford-educational-causes/

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Local Youth Programs – MASSHIRE Mondays

The New Bedford Career Center is now MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center. But their focus is still the same. They are connecting job seekers with businesses looking to fill various positions.

MassHire Greater New Bedford Career Center recruiting youth for free programs.

Youth who have dropped out of school and are interested in training or finishing their high school credentials should visit the career center to learn more about these local programs. Here are some of the listings for this week:

PACE: The Youth Work Experience Program (YWE) will provide youth a combination of academics to prepare for HiSET testing, financial literacy, job development and career coaching. The youth will all engage in Blueprint to a Healthy Financial Life and follow a two-week rotation program of education and employment success training. Youth after completion of career coaching will engage in a 6-week paid job experience. Recruiting 22 youth.

Youth can contact the career center youth team directly at (508) 990-4000 or stop by to make an appointment at 618 Acushnet Avenue, New Bedford.

Learn more about all their job openings at MassHireGNBCC.com. Mass Hire of Greater New Bedford. Let’s get to work!

More from WBSM here: http://wbsm.com/local-youth-programs-masshire-mondays/

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PACE to open YB Youth Development Center

NEW BEDFORD — The PACE YB Youth Development Center will have a grand opening from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at its new location, 127 West Rodney French Blvd.

The PACE YB Youth Development Center will house the YouthBuild Program and grow to include additional programming for out-of-school young people, ages 16 to 24, in the Greater New Bedford community.

“This is an exciting time for us as we change and grow to create increased opportunities and transitioning into a center that combines quality education with practical job skills to prepare our young people for the world of work,” said Director Lisa Mello-Frost in a statement. “Our young people and staff are building and creating this center, that will not only assist them in reaching their goals, but also for the young people who come after them.”

YouthBuild, SSYI and the new program YouthWork, will combine: employment success training, small HiSet prep classes, financial literacy, vocational skill building, case management, life skills and transitional assistance and support. All qualified applicants receive consideration for membership. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

For more information, contact Mello-Frost at 508-984-3558.

More from SouthCoast Today here: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20181119/pace-to-open-yb-youth-development-center?rssfeed=true

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PACE to help with health insurance, fuel assistance Nov. 1

NEW BEDFORD — The PACE Health Access Program will assist anyone who wants to apply for health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector or Mass Health on Nov. 1 at the PACE Main Office, 166 William St.

Connector navigators will be on hand to assist clients with their applications. People who want to apply for the first time or want to change their insurance plans must do this during the open enrollment from Nov 1 through Jan. 23, according to a news release. Persons applying should bring their last two pay stubs and photo ID.

Appointments are recommended by calling PACE at 508-999-9920.

On Nov. 1, the Southcoast Health van will provide flu shots as well as blood pressure checks and a wellness checkup from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Nov. 1 is also the first day of fuel assistance, which ends April 30. The program assists income-eligible persons who need assistance paying their heating bills during the winter.

Clients who received a re-certification in the mail should be returning them with any changes noted on the application as well as their current income. Fuel Assistance Case Managers will be on hand to make appointments and answer questions, too.

More from SouthCoast Today here: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20181022/pace-to-help-with-health-insurance-fuel-assistance-nov-1?rssfeed=true

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Mass Health Connector Kicks Off Tour on SouthCoast

NEW BEDFORD — In SouthCoast and Cape Cod, about 5.5 percent to 6 percent of people are uninsured, compared to the state’s 3 percent, according to Jason Lefferts, spokesman for the Massachusetts Health Connector.

“We want to fix that. It is a priority for us,” he said. People who are uninsured tend to be multicultural young men, he said.

The Massachusetts Health Connector kicked off its three-week statewide tour Tuesday prior to open enrollment which starts Nov. 1. After Brockton and Fall River, stops included the New Bedford Cable Network to record a public service announcement and the Coastal Foodshed mobile farm stand on Brock Avenue to distribute signs in English and Portuguese.

Open enrollment begins Nov. 1 through Jan. 23 for those without health insurance to sign up for coverage and Health Connector members to shop for the best plan. The Health Connector will offer 57 plans from nine carriers.

For help on getting covered or shopping for a new plan, people can visit People Acting in Community Endeavors (PACE) at 166 Williams St. and Fishing Partnership Support Services at 38 Bethel St., both in New Bedford.

Recently, the two organizations received funding for people to serve as navigators. Fishing Partnership Support Services got $100,000 for seven individuals to serve as navigators, providing assistance in English, Portuguese and Italian. PACE received $97,513 for four navigators, providing assistance in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Creole.

Read more at: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20181016/mass-health-connector-kicks-off-tour-on-southcoast?rssfeed=true

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New leadership at PACE in New Bedford

NEW BEDFORD — PACE has hired a familiar face to fill the role of executive director: Pamela Kuechler, who was first hired by PACE in 1995.

Kuechler started her new role Monday. She helped create the Family Center at the Hayden-McFadden School and also served as director of the PACE Child Care Works Program, a position she held until 2011. She is currently ending a five and a half year stint as the executive director of the Massachusetts Head Start Association, according to a news release.

Kuechler is replacing Bruce Morell, who retired after 32 years with PACE, 166 William St.

“This is one of the toughest tasks for a Board of Directors,” said Nancy Feeney, president of the PACE Board of Directors, in a statement, “but the board held interviews and selected an excellent candidate to lead the agency into the future.”

Kuechler, a Fairhaven High School graduate, also serves as vice chairman of the Fairhaven School Committee.

In other changes, Joshua Amaral, assistant director of the fuel assistance program and assistant planner, will become the assistant executive director and assistant planner as of Aug. 6. Amaral has been with PACE for the past three years, according to the release.

Amaral also serves on the New Bedford School Committee.

“The Board of Directors is excited about the partnership with Pam and Josh leading this transition period,” Feeney said. “PACE has become a large agency, and we are looking to the future to do more for the lower income residents of the area.”

PACE is the designated Community Action Agency for the city of New Bedford with annual revenue that exceeds $65 million and operates local and regional programs that offer support and opportunities for individuals and families to better their lives and to become self-sufficient, according to the release.

Read more at: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20180709/new-leadership-at-pace-in-new-bedford

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PACE Can Help with Applying for Mass Health, Health Connector

NEW BEDFORD — PACE is still accepting applications for Mass Health and Massachusetts Health Connector programs.

Applying for Mass Health can be done any time of the year; however, the Health Connector is available during open enrollment, which is the first week in November unless patients have had any life changing events during the year. Examples would be loss of job and or income, loss of spouse, birth of a child and other events.

People not sure if they can apply can call the PACE Health Access Office, 166 William St., for an appointment at 508-999-9920 and a navigator will assist them through the process.

More at Southcoast Today here.

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‘Like family to us:’ foster grandparents make a difference

NEW BEDFORD — A few children around a table in a PACE Head Start classroom brought out cards with “Sesame Street” characters and numbers on them to practice counting with Louise Ellis, 68.

“Okay grandma, are you going to teach us?” one of them asked Ellis as she talked to a Standard-Times reporter.

Ellis is one of 58 foster grandparents ranging in age from 55 to 89 at 26 sites in Greater New Bedford. The program runs on a national level through Senior Corps and has been offered by Coastline for over 35 years. It offers a tax free stipend for a minimum of 15 hours a week.

Ellis said she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 and 2017. This is on top of previous knee replacements.

“By me having this to come to, it made it much easier for me,” said Ellis, as she went through chemotherapy and radiation. “They helped a lot. They got me through it.”

August will mark eight years for her in the program. She visits PACE (People Acting in Community Endeavors) Head Start on Madison Street for seven hours a day, five days a week.

“I’m going to be doing this until I can’t do it anymore,” she said.

“She means a lot to me,” said Sandra Lopes, lead teacher in the classroom. “She’s been through a lot.” Lopes said Ellis comforts the kids when they’re sad or upset and assists those who need extra help with number and letter recognition.

More from SouthCoast Today here: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20180405/like-family-to-us-foster-grandparents-make-difference?rssfeed=true

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Executive Director Bruce Morell hosts Sarah and Niki from the MA Health Connector

On April 2nd, PACE’s Executive Director Bruce Morell hosted Sarah B. and Niki C. from the Massachusetts Health Connector on a taping of PACE Monthly, the agency’s monthly show on New Bedford’s Cable Access network. The three discussed the Health Connector and PACE’s work to expand access to health insurance across the city and the state. Full video of the show will be available online shortly.

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PACE Head Start at the New Bedford Free Public Library

P.A.C.E. Head Start and the New Bedford Free Public Library are offering a Family Fun Day on Tuesday with a special story hour, craft, and a book giveaway. The story and activity encourages acceptance and kindness. This collaboration is an undertaking of New Bedford’s “Building Inclusive Communities” initiative. The fun is from 10 a.m. to noon at the main branch, 613 Pleasant St. Learn more at facebook.com/events/1129922080483921.

From South Coast Today: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20180216/free-or-low-cost-ideas-for-february-vacation-week

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